|07/02/2012, 04:55 PM||#1|
Top 32 US Nationals Report; The up and coming
The format this year has been incredibly shifty, with a new BDIF almost every set. Coming off of a LCQ high, I was confident that I will do very well this year, with almost no testing or prior thought. Wrong! I only cut 2 Battle Roads, and despite preparing for states and regionals (one of each), I have absurd luck and bubble cut both events. Things just get worse for me as the season progressed, and I was not sure if I really cared enough anymore to test. Going in to nats, I had 3 deck choices that were all very strong in their own aspect.
Hammertime was a very powerful deck, but was flip reliant, and struggled against anything that had solid energy acceleration. Zeel with Terrakion was close to an auto loss, but CMT and Kling Klang were virtually autowins. I decided that I didn't want to play this deck once I played mirror. I anticipated this deck to be the #1 choice, so whatever I played needed to have energy acceleration.
I just cut a Battle Road with CMT. The deck put huge pressure on the opponent early game, but struggled later on, and was destroyed by Lost Remover. With all the Terrakion I expected, I could not play Regigigas EX either, a card that made your other matchups (such as Darkrai and Zeel) so much better.
I decided on Zeel/Terrakion after testing against it. The list had major consistency, powerful attackers, and a
way to win virtually every matchup. Every Darkrai variant was virtually an autowin. In testing, I lost against Darkrai once (after he flipped 7/8 Crushing Hammer heads). Regular Zeel was a great matchup, unless they knew for sure that you didn't play DCE. If they start the Mewtwo war T1-T2, it makes the game much more difficult. I figured that I would rather play no DCE and be more consistent, rather than force 3 different types of energy into my deck. I made the right choice.
My list was able to retaliate almost every time I wanted to, and set up quickly. I played 7 ball trainers, as well as a split on Tynamo. Spark Tynamo gave me a nice out to Trainer lock, and Thunder Wave Tynamo gave me utility. I was very happy with it, despite having a virtual auto loss to trainer lock.
Anywho, enough about that. Time for the tournament report!
For some odd reason I do not remember this gentleman's name. He wins the flip, starts Darkrai to my smeargler and we begin setup. The game was very calm and collective, and I knew how much of an advantage I had. I was able to Eviolite a Terrakion with 2 Fighting energy, and he couldn't really respond. Hank swept the field scraggly swift. Very nice guy, nice meeting you.
Mike R- Mirror (W)
Mike was a player that I did not even know, but we were instantly friends as soon as we started playing. I win the flip, and set up exceptionally, using ball trainers to get out Multiple Tynamo. His start was worse than 2 Smoochums, 1 Muk. He only gets out one Tynamo with an Active Smeargle. Portrait reveals my Random Receiver with no supporters! From there, I was able to get 3 Eelektrik out, as well as a turn 2 Zekrom. The Zekrom was devastating, putting huge pressure on his set up. Once I knocked out his eels, he couldn't keep up. His deck played twins and Raikou too!
Michael W (rokman)-Darkrai/Exp Share (W)
Michael is a solid player, and I knew that his deck would be ready for Terrakion. I was right. He won the flip, and played Darkrai with Max Potion and EXP Share. The EXP share allowed him to easily get Darkrais powered up without using resources. I had an average start, and got out an eel turn 2. Michael dead drew for about 5 turns, which put him behind so much, that even when he came close to mounting a comeback, it was too late. Sorry!
Jimmy p-Kling Klang EXs (L)
This game had some crazy shenanigans. I start Terrakion to Jimmy's flip win and t2 Kling Klang and Cobalion. I whiff the early game Shaymin to KO his Darkrai early game, and whiffing becomes the story of this game. I was not able to retaliate for the return KO once this game, always one card short. When I did attack with Terrakion, I whiffed the Pluspower to KO his Darkrai with an Eviolite.**Eventually, it was basically hopeless. Crap really hit the Phanpy when I made a huge gameplay error, "throh"ing the game even more. However, dont think that it was all my bad luck. Jimmy made some some great plays, and was an exceptional opponent. He was*pretty nervous, but still played well, and made cut iirc. Props!
Justin C- Empoleon/Terrakion (W)
This game put me through a loop. I won the flip, and started very poorly, even with a Smeargle start. Despite my horrible hand, I am able to stack a few energy on a Mewtwo and roll through some Piplups. Due to the two energy lines, I assumed that he didn't play Mewtwo. If he did, he couldn't play more than 1 (he ran Terrakion as well, and fitting the energy is miserable). No Mewtwo returns me, so I continue to roll through his Pokemon. After I take 3 prizes, he is able to get up an Empoleon. He knocks out my Mewtwo, but by then, I already have my set up and am able to overwhelm his board. His deck was very well built and did in fact, play one Mewtwo (which he prized).
On to day 2! (4-1) Don't choke!
Branden J- Zeel (L)
My heart sinks when I see the pairing. Branden Jackson. Branden is a solid Florida player who I did not want to play at all. The reason is because we are friends, and no one wants to knock out a friend! When he flips his Mewtwo active (with a benched Tynamo), and I see my hand, I am almost certain that I will lose the game. I flip for Dual Ball, and get one heads. My Smeargler is lurking around in my prizes, so I am unable to use a supporter t1. His field explodes turn 2, and he catchers my benched Tynamo, viciously knocking it out with Mewtwo's X Ball of death. Nothing could survive the Wrath of an Angry lab experiment gone wrong! I do not run Double Colorless, which puts me at a severe disadvantage in this matchup, especially when I have no Eels to give my Mewtwo some gas! Despite the blow out, I still enjoyed the small talk we made throughout the game. Runnin colder than an arctic Dewgong!*
Daniel P-Darkrai/Tornadus (W)
I start very, very solid this game, going second. He benches a Tornadus EX, and attaches, passing. I start with 2 Dual Ball in hand, and rip 4 heads. He requests that I do not use a coin. I politely decline. With 3 Tynamo benched, an active Smeargle, and a benched Zekrom, I can't lose this matchup unless I whiff on the Eelektriks. *The following turn, I am able to set up 2 Eelektrik and return KO his Tornadus EX with my Zekrom. From there it's a trade that he will not win. EX prize rule is just abused by Darkrai, while Zeel is only giving up 1 prize per attacker. He continued to benched Tornadus EX, for some odd reason, making the game much easier.*
Tyler K-Lilligant/Vileplume (W)
During shuffling, I catch a glance at his Victory Star Victini (as he shuffles towards me). I poop myself. I'm about to take two scoops of pain, and not enjoy anything about it. We flip and he starts Petilil with a Shaymin EX benched. I sigh in relief and begin to burn as many trainers as possible. I am able to once again rip multiple heads on Dual Ball, and my opponent, once again, complains about my coin. Dice are "truly random". So anyway, I am able to get out a Mewtwo very quickly and take prizes. His Victini is prized, I assume, as he does not get it with Collector. He is able to get the turn 3 lock, but my set up is exceptional at this point in the game, having 3 Eelektrik benched, and a Terrakion as well as a Zekrom ready to strike. He has to bench 3 oddish, so it puts him at a huge advantage during the late game prize trade. He returns my Mewtwo after I take a prize, and X Ball a Shaymin for 80. Had I X Balled it for 100 (which I could have done, I chose to attach to Terrakion), I could have sparked the Shaymin for 2 prizes. I caught my "misplay" and was very disappointed at myself. However, this also allows me to abuse his Twins with the Smeargler, opening up many more plays. Anyway, I Outrage his Mewtwo. He retreats, and promotes Lilligant, locking Zekrom, poor guy. I pass, and he whiffs the lock. I retreat, and Terrakion eats his plant in one swift gulp. He cant win due to his clogged hand, and the game goes to time. I am too far ahead in prizes, and he scoops.
Chad T- CMT (W)
Chad is another Florida player and of course we have to play to decide who will top cut. I am very nervous, but keep cool as a combee and play to my ability. We both dead draw early, but I am able to set up better than he is, and take advantage of his benched Terrakion, stalling until I can get some offense flowing. I am able to set up one Eel early, and later on get 2 more out. Really, I just set up faster and he draws dead. Sorry about how the game went!
Top 128:*Stephen M-Darkrai/ (W)
Its so ironic that I play Stephen. He was one of the first players to ever give me deck advice and helped me understand matchups during the Platinum era. Now, we are opponents in the top 128 of US Nationals. We chat a lot, and the games are very casual. I am so grateful to be paired against my best matchup. The first game is quickly swept up and I take control very early. Game 2, I draw completely dead. The last game is very fuzzy, but I know that I win with Zekrom catcher Bolt Strike on his benched Tornadus EX.
Top 64: Samuel L- Darkrai (W)
Samuel is very close to an invite and I actually contemplate scooping for a very brief moment. I decide against it and we play. The first game, I ran like the spawn of Emboar and Charizard. I was able to return KO every single Darkrai with one supporter, and top deck Energy Search for the Land Crush for game. Game 2, I once again draw garbodor and cannot keep up. I scoop to save time. Game 3 is very intense. I remember being so focused and I felt that I played very well. I get a double eel start and an Eviolited Terrakion early. He can't seem to draw anything and I Junk Arm supporters to prevent the Portrait. He cannot get Evilotes on his Darkrais fast enough, and Terrakion sweeps his board. When time is called, I am too far ahead.
Top 32: Dylan Bryan_Vileplume/Mismagius (L)
I had seen his name everywhere, but hadnt met him until this game. We talked and he was probably the nicest player ive had the pleasure to play against. I don't expect to win, knowing that the match up is virtually an auto loss. It's about as even as a Feebas vs a Regigigas. Dylan and I discuss prior achievements and he hasn't done worse than 7-2 drop (to preserve his invite) each year! Very impressive. Game 1 shows me that I actually have a fighting chance. I blow the game open T2 with 3 Eels and an active Zekrom. I take 3 prizes quickly, and he scoops. Game 2 feels like it drags on forever. I get an average start, and he is able to setup his turn 2 Plume, stopping me from setting up. I am still able to trade for a prize, but I get rolled. I decide to wait the game out instead of instantly scooping, killing time as well as seeing what else he plays in his deck. I look through his discard and portrait the turn before I lose. I notice Shaymin EX,*
and get more accurate counts on his T/S lines. Game 3 is very intense. I go first and take quick prizes. We both set up, and begin trading. Still no time called, and I am up by a prize. The only cool thing I did was Thunder Wave an active Terrakion, locking it active, giving me the Bolt Strike knockout. I have the game planned out in my head, and I win if I can pull it off. I dynamotor to get about 6 energy on the bench, and have Shaymin in hand with a benched Mewtwo. If I can Shaymin, then N, I may be able to win. He plays an extremely quick turn, benches Mewtwo and DCE (which sucks) and I can't understand why he ends, until I draw my card. "Players, that is time!"
My heart sinks. I evaluate the field, reevaluate it, reevaluate it once again, and realize that I cannot win. My plan could have worked if I had been turn 1. The reason for this is because I would be able to return Shaymin EX (iirc) with Mewtwo to be up by 1 prize, ending the game. Well, since he attacks last, he is able to Return KO my Mewtwo with his for the game.
I decide not to scoop, and play the last turns out. I KO his Terrakion with my Terrakion. He Shaymin EXs me. Turn 2, I Shaymin all the energy and KO his Shaymin with my Mewtwo. I look up, and time stops. My heart sinks, knowing that my run will be over in a few mere seconds. I see my friends eagerly watching me, full of faith, having no clue if I won, or lost. I let them down. As he announces X Ball, the attack hits me as much as it does my Mewtwo EX.
Bam. It hits me. My season is over...
I get up and scoop my cards, look Dylan in the eyes, give him a firm handshake, and congratulate him on the win. I want to weep for my loss, but I take a deep breathe, let it out, and smile. Even though I didn't win, I gave it everything. Maybe I wasn't the champion, but I was the champion in my eyes. It was a good run. This tournament was very much needed. It made up for my whole season. I was close to quitting, but now, I am very hungry to go out and win events. I can't wait till next season. Everyone I met, everyone I shared food with, beds, stories, crazy nights, etc, all made the tournament that much sweeter. Looking back, I don't regret anything. I wish I could've gone deeper in cut, but so does everyone else besides the champion.
So for now, so long. Look for me next season, I will not disappoint you.
Roberto; What you said to me was very comforting. Thanks for that, I needed it :)
Terrakion is too dirty
Hovercats (Dustin, James, Travis, Mike, Alec, Jack, Kyle, etc)
Friends on Lafonte
Friends in general
SoFla crew (Greg, Thoy, Twins, etc)
Embassy happy hour (;
Making $500 on the trip
Not feeling guilty about bad eating!
Forgetting my laptop at Kyle's :(
Vanilluxe Players (lol, 1 made cut)
Lots of walking
No time for the gym
Eating bad huahahah
Starting Mewtwo EX a lot
Prize support (id rather pay 5 per event*
and get something worth keeping)
PS: Thanks for the sunglasses (Hahahah)
2011 Grinder Survivor
Top 32 US Nationals 2012
Whoops. I lost my Whooper. Can I ahve urz?
Last edited by jeffrey123; 07/02/2012 at 05:02 PM.
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|07/04/2012, 11:00 AM||#2|
Kev, great run! Syd and I were pulling for you. (But Top32 was tough since we know both)
Hope you decide to go to Worlds. You were a beast in the LCQ last year.
If we don't see you, have a good summer and GL next year.
"We do not cease to play because we grow old. We grow old because we cease to play" - George Bernard Shaw
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