Howdy yall! I just got back from St. Louis, and I aint tired yet, so I figure what the heck, lets get a tournament report up! Wednesday-Thursday These were the hangout days. Met up with all my Lafonte friends, partied it up, played softball etc. Playtesting wise, I wanted to run Kingdra, but I figured there would be too much Nidoqueen and maybe some Turtwigs, so I decided against using it for Nats and tested Dialga/Palkia/Luxray. After a few games I found the deck to be very good, but very complicated (I never tested with it before Nats). Anywho, I decided this was probably going to be my Nats deck. Friday Night More hanging out, and more playtesting. After a few more DLP games, I decided I just couldn't go through with it; not enough testing. I told Ness, Moss, and Alvis that I would be playing Kingdra, and they BEGGED me not to, saying it was horrible and didn't beat anything, BUT it was the deck I played all season, I was super confident with my list, and I figured I could outplay my opponents in my bad matchups. Agaisnt their advice, I printed out my Kingdra list, and went to bed around midnight ready to wake up for the 2009 National Championships. Saturday: Nationals! Round 1 vs Tyranitar He gets a lone Uxie vs my Horsea. He plays first, attaches an energy and does 20. I Candy/Kingdra/Crobat and first turn him. Ship it! 1-0 Round 2 vs Beedrill I get a lone Horsea and a pretty good hand of Horsea/Energy/Claydol/Kingdra/BTS/Poketurn/Super Scoop Up (Anything that gets me a Baltoy lets me go off with a huge turn 2) going 1st against a Weedle. I draw, cant play anything, and pass. He benches a Baltoy, Bebe's for a Claydol, and calls for a Weedle. I draw and pass. He draws, double Beedrills, and KOs my lone Horsea, ugh . 1-1 Game 3 vs Tyranitar I start Horsea against an Uxie playing first. I do 10, he does 20 and bottom decks promoting a Sableye. I evolve to Seadra, do 30. He benches a Sneasel and a Larvitar, attaches, and does the supporter attack. I Kingdra and KO the Sableye, 20 to the Sneasel. He promotes and Dark Charges to the Ttar. I KO the Weavile, so I'm up 2-0 right now and feeling good. He promotes the Ttar, and Grinds my Kingdra for 140. I attack with another Kingdra, he double Pokehealers down to 0 and OHKOs my 2nd Kingdra. I hit for 70, he double healers AGAIN down to 0, and OHKOs me THIRD Kingdra (uhh ohh). I NM back a Kingdra line and hit for 70 again. He makes a weird play of retreating for a Weavile and powering a 2nd Ttar instead of keeping the Grind lock going. This allows me to get 2 more KOs, and I finish up a prize when time is called. Great game sir. 2-1 Round 4 vs Flygon/Blissey/Nidoqueen When I saw him open with Trapinch, I was glad knowing that I had an edge over Flygon, but then when I saw the Blissey and Nidoqueen, I kinda threw up in my mouth a little knowing Dragon Pump would be doing 20 a turn. Anywho, because his deck is pretty slow with all the tech, I'm able to get the first 2 prizes before the Flygon gets out. We start 2hkoing eachother back and forth, but I hit some big Super Scoops to keep my Kingdras alive. He ends up having 2 prizes left to my 1 with time running low, so he burns through his deck as a last ditch effort, but ends up decking out. 3-1 Round 5 vs Kingdra He opens with Unown G going first against my Uxie. He draws and passes, I draw and do 50 with 2 Crobats. SHIP IT! 4-1 Round 6 vs Ragan with Gengar Ragan's one of Jimmy B's up and coming Chicago players. He's a super cool guy, and a great sport; one of my favorite Chicago players. Anywho, he gets a super bad start against my T2 Kingdra and I'm able to take the first 5 prizes of the game. By the time he finally gets a Gengar out, it's too late, and I get the last KO. Sorry broski. 5-1 Round 7 vs G-Dubz GGW has been a hard match all year for me, but by adding extra Cynthia's to my deck, it made the matchup more manageable. I got a fast Kingdra against his slow start. By the time he got Psychic Locking, I had the Cynthia in my hand and was able to keep enough cards to Dragon Pump every turn. After he was forced to break the Psylock, I went off on him with Cosmics, Crobats, and Poketurns to get my last few prizes. 6-1 Round 8 vs Chaz Baker with Gengar/Gallade 4 My ARCH NEMESIS! Chaz is one of the up and coming southern kids whos only been in Masters for 2 years, but placed high at every tournament he's been to, including beating your 1917-2002 World Champion in the finals of Regionals. Anywho, he opens Gallade vs my Horsea. He gets a Bladestorm/Chop up off, and I respond with a Dragon Pump KO. He brings up a Gengar and hits Claydol for 60. I SSU the Claydol, relay it, and hit Gengar for 70. He attacks Claydol again, and I respond with Uxie and 2 Pluspowers to KO Gengar and bottom deck to dodge the fainting spell flip. He brings up another Gengar which I hit for 70 again, and KO with Uxie/double plus power again. Gengar #3 gets hit for 60, and then Uxie/TRIPLE plus powered for the KO, which ends up giving me the lead when time is called. Great game Chaz. 7-1 Top 128 vs Matt Yuen with Dialga/Palkia/Luxray Game 1: I get a good hand of Horsea/energy/Baltoy/Claydol against his Palkia. I draw and smokescreen. He plays a water, an e-gain, an Azelf, a Mesprit, and an Uxie and hits me for 20. I draw and smokescreen again. He Mesprits again and Pearl Breaths. I send up Crobat and pass, ready to scoop to another Mesprit and try for a fast win game 2. He draws and Pearl Breaths without Mespriting, so I figure I have a great shot now. I proceed to get out 2 Kingdra and 2 Claydol with my turn of powers, and start taking prizes left and right. He ends up scooping with about 15 mins left. Game 2: We both get good starts, but he's unable to take 4 prizes before time is called. Good run Yuen. 8-1 Top 64 vs Ross with Lux/Ape Ross is one of the top 5 players in the US, in my opinion. He always finishes the season at the top of the rankings, and was a Worlds Finalist a few years ago. He's also great at softball it turns out. Nothing but respect for this guy. Game 1: I get an Uxie+ 6 trainers hand vs a Baltoy/Garbage hand. I pass, he benches some stuff and passes. I play 3 plus powers to Uxie and Cynthia for 4, trying for an energy. I whiff and scoop. Game 2: I get another sick start of T2 Kingdra and get up 2 prizes quick. He ends up having to scoop about 20 mins in. Game 3: We both get good starts, but he has some bad prizes and is forced to Azelf for a Luxray instead of a Luxray lv X just to stay in the game. This gives me a few turns to take some prizes and get ready for a midgame tradeoff war that would end up with me getting the 6 knockouts slightly faster than him, and that's what ended up happening. Great games Ross, see you at Worlds! 9-1 Sunday Top 32 vs Drew Holton with DLP Drew is an outstanding player from from Ohio, finishing high in every tournament he plays, including 2nd at Nats last year, and also top cutting worlds. Game 1: I run good at the beginning of the game AGAIN, getting a quick double Kingdra/Claydol before he sets up the Mesprit lock. He scoops with about 30 mins left. Game 2: Same as game 1. I setup before the lock and draw 5 prizes to his 1 when he Bright Looks up a Claydol. I only have 1 energy left and no more Super Scoops, so I'm forced to draw/pass while he sets up for a big comeback. He ends up getting down to 2 prizes, but time gets called and I pick up the win. SHIP IT! Great games Drew, see you at worlds as well. 10-1 Top 16 vs DLP Game 1: Same as my last 3 matches. I get set up, take a big prize lead, and he scoops with about 30 mins left. Game 2: He gets a sick start against my weak one, so I decide I'm going to just draw this game out and scoop when time is low so I get the choice to go 2nd in game 3 and probably get the first prize, and that's what Kingdra does best, and that's what happens. Game 3: Time is called. Sudden death! I draw an opening hand of Horsea/Seadra/Kingdra/BTS/Crobat! YES, I get to turn 1 him! I decide to go 2nd, but wait, since time was called before we set up, we have to do a coin flip to see who goes first? What a screwup on my part! If I had known this ruling, I would have scooped a few minutes earlier to avoid this problem. Unfortunately, I "win" the flip and draw/Pass with my Horsea against Uxie, praying that I don't get T1ed so that I can Kingdra/Win on the next turn. He draws, energy, crobat turn turn 50 and knocks out Horsea to win, ugh. Ohh well, nice job man. 10-2 I ended up getting a rankings invite, but I definitely was mad at myself the entire day for not knowing how sudden death worked. I feel like I had a great matchup against all the remaining decks in the tournament, and that I had a very high chance of winning Nats if I didn't make that screwup, but whatever, I'm (mostly) human. After Pooka won, we all went back to the fields to play more softball and basketball throughout the night. I got back to the Hotel, partied it up with all the friends, and ended up crashing at about 4am. This years Nats was probably the funnest I've been to so far. You can't ask for much more than a full 5 days away from home to hang out with 30-40 of the coolest people you've ever met. I doubt Worlds will be nearly as fun, but I guess anythings possible! Props: Pooka for winning Nats: You deserved a big win dude, I'm so happy for you Ness: -1 for stealing my pillows, but +2 for setting up the softball games and bumming me organic juice boxes all weekend Moss: My personal Life Coach. Always great to see you! Alvis: Even though we're not really friends, he seems like an ok guy. I probably wouldn't hang out with him or answer one of his phone calls, but I'd consider maybe making eye contact with him in the future or something. Ghaz: 2 time National Champion, but also the insane nutjob champion. Still a 10/10 entertainment wise though. Awesome job top 16ing. Vernola: Great job on top 16ing, but -1 for giving up on Kingdra and -1 for photoshopping cat ears and whiskers onto my face. The Florida Crew: Always great to see you guys, party never ends with you! The Ohio Crew: Same as above. You guys are awesome! The Cali Crew: Didn't get to see much of you guys this year, so we'll make it up at worlds! The Chicago Crew: No need to prop Jimmy as we all know how cool he is, so props to the rest of you Slops: The Crim bet: Ugh, what a sweat See yall at Worlds!