Top 16 - North Carolina States 3/12/2011 I have not completed a report in a long time, so I figured I'd actually get one up after not doing one in such a long time. I get ready for NC States by testing enough to want to blow my brains out. All the testing I did prior to March made me want to vomit because of how the format was. The different decks that I was considering included Gyarados, LuxChomp, Vilegar, Steelix, Dialga, and even a Magnezone variant. Everytime I played LuxChomp, I felt the need to flip a table since it was incredibly boring. I didn't trust Gyarados because I was unsure of how Lostgar would affect it (although, I was proven both wrong and right based on top cut). Once the first week of March hit, I decided that I'd go Vilegar. It was a well rounded deck with the capability of coming back from behind - something that has GREATLY appealed to me. I fill my deck list out the night before, get it printed off the next morning, then proceed to get deck checked and wait for the tournament to start. I was feeling confident about my choice, a very good feeling. Round 1 - Didy M. (Drapion/Houndoom/Umbreon) Didy is a pokemom that's still getting used to the game. We get shuffling, listen to whatever announcements are made before everyone sets up, and then get the full set up. From what I can remember, I believe I was going first. My starting hand wasn't too grand, and my starter was Chansey. I look to see that the deck is entirely dark, and already I know I'm in for trouble. I decide to grab Blissey, and try setting up via Return, since I know it would not go down easy. I manage to draw into crucial cards, such as Collector, while she sets up her Drapion. Drapion comes out, and starts wrecking me, killing Gengar Prime. I managed to set up a couple of things while it was still active. I send in Fainting Spell Gengar, allow it to get knocked out, and hit some other things on her bench, like her Houndoom. She kills Gengar, and I flip for Fainting Spell...heads. It's still a fight, as she then pulls Umbreon up, and I'm forced to go for another Fainting Spell...heads. Because of that power alone, I was able to take this game. It got down to 1-1 on prizes, and I was able to take my final prize. VERY good game. 1-0 Round 2 - Will Ellis (Sablock) So, we get set up, and I believe I go first this time. My start isn't very good, but I can at least get to Vileplume quickly. Outside of that, it's grotesque. He kills Unown Q, I get to Vileplume via BTS, and he Initiatives me, getting a heads, and finding it hard to really take anything of significance. My hand consisted of Palmer's and a psychic (pretty awful). Eventually, he starts knocking me down, around, and flat out all over the place, while I'm fighting desperately to set up. I actually had to pull a second Vileplume line out. He gets down to two prizes, and it's not looking good for me. But, my saving grace was him running out of steam, and some top decks on my part. Twins, Spiritomb, and Fainting Spell pulled me out of this awful funk, and I was able to come back against him. Had I not gotten heads on Fainting Spell, his Honchkrow would have been incredibly bad for me. Eventually, it gets to the point where he has a Sableye active, constantly impersonating, while I snipe around it so as to keep taking prizes while keeping Sableye locked up there. Incredible game, Will. 2-0 Round 3 - ??? (DialgaChomp) We shuffle and set up, and I'm looking at a fairly decent hand. We flip, and I see he's starting with Azelf. I believe I go second, Looker's, and see that he's got Dialga G X in hand. I quickly go for Gengar Prime, and am able to lost zone the Dialga G LV. X before it becomes a major threat. It goes down hill once that occurs. 3-0 Round 4 - Josh Rothney (Sharpedo/Weavile/Umbreon) The literal bane of Gengar, I start with Oddish and a couple other things - Gastlys, I believe - and call for Spiritomb. He goes, gets a Sharpedo down with an Expert Belt/SP. Dark, and puts the hurt on me. I manage to get it down in prize count soon, and he brings out Umbreon to really try and seal the deal. Thanks to Fainting Spell, the game is brought to a sudden death game, in which it comes down to yet ANOTHER flip: Quick Blow. I set up a Weavile incredibly early with Gengar Prime, while he built up Eevee, evolved into Umbreon, and went for Quick Blow...heads. And that's game. GG Josh 3-1 Round 5 - Kevin Nance (Vilegar) When I saw the pairings, I figured I'd be in for a world of pain. I had heard from a friend of mine that he had a tech in there to beat Vilegar mirrors, which was something I wasn't looking forward to. After sitting down, and setting up, I see that he really doesn't have much going for his side of the board. I go for Gengar Prime quickly, and Looker's to see what's going on in his hand. On his bench, I believe there was a Larvitar, a Gastly, and maybe something else. When I use Looker's Investigation, I find that he has Pupitar in hand, which I immediately Hurl into Darkness to make sure Tyranitar does not it the field. I proceed to set up Haunters soon after. He starts using Will-o-Wisp with Spiritomb to hit my Gengar Prime, while I heal with Blissey. In the end, despite him trying to come back, his bad start was too much to try and overcome. Sorry bro. 4-1 Round 6 - Brian Leary (LuxChomp) As soon as I saw who I was playing, I already knew I'd be facing LuxChomp. LuxChomp is a match-up I'm fairly confident in, considering I've tested it quite a bit. He gets a fairly good set up, manages to kill both a Vileplume (thankfully, I had a Rescue attached to it) via Garchomp and Luxray, and a Gengar SF via Roserade and some other tricks; but, Gengar Prime steals the show here. Having Poltergeisted to build his Weavile G up to 70, and his Drifblim UD was built up with damage, Curse Drops began to put some pressure on him. Curse Drops proceeds to get rid of both of them, and then spread all over. I ended up winning as a result of Gengar Prime/Gengar LV. X being able to spread across his board, and his Garchomp C LV. X had already been down, and with Vileplume in play, he couldn't Turn it back up. 5-1 Round 7 - TJ Claypoole (Vilegar variant) I didn't want to play TJ, he's my home dog. Unfortunately, TOM is a cruel little program. Once we get shuffled up, I can tell he doesn't have much at the start. He's literally not playing much of anything in the first couple turns, while I pull out Gengar Prime and spread like a madman. What hurt me the most was having two Haunters prized, which, along with his two Gengar Prime, would be my ultimate downfall. TJ comes back from my Cursed Drops and Compound Pains, and takes the game via Lost World. 5-2 I make it into top 16 at 7th place, and I find out that I'm playing Sablelock. I was feeling confident going into this game, as I knew I could win it so long as my draws were not completely terrible. Game 1 - I drew completely terrible. I didn't see a Collector this game, or much of anything. He got the lock on me, and I really was just crippled. Game 2 - I drew fairly awful again. He gets his typical set up, but a key fainting spell saves the day for me. I manage to come back after he gets down to 1 prize, Looker'ing his hand away, killing his Garchomp C via Gengar Prime, and he can't recover. I left his Sableye up there, and sniped around it with the Prime for the win. Game 3 - We don't have much time, so we get set up quickly. I see that I'm starting with a lone Gastly...I already know how this is going to go. I see him flip over Sableye...he throws down the dark...and it's game. x_x 5-3 Props: The new store for being awesome Seeing all the people that make this game awesome. A well run tournament. Slops: Sableye. Heat. I figure that Vilegar is the best choice for the second weekend, as I did well with it despite some bad runs, and had I won in top 16, I would've gone to face Machamp/Vileplume, which would've been a pretty good match-up. Then mirror in top 4. So, I decide to change it up slightly for South Carolina, and I really am glad that I did. Round 1 - Matthew Tidman (Vilegar) His Vilegar was set up to be focused around Lost World. I wasn't liking the sound of that much, but I manage to set up my Gengar Prime quickly, not even worrying about Vileplume this game. He doesn't get much at the beginning, and goes for Gengar SF. I start piling damage on it with Gengar Prime, and eventually take it out with Cursed Drop. Three in the Lost Zone. I then figure that it'd be best to Hurl soon after, as he played down a Mr. Mime, but didn't use the power. I go for Hurl, having two psychics on my Gengar Prime at that point, and Lost Zone Gengar Prime and a Gengar LV. X. Five in the Lost Zone. I then Hurl again to throw two more in the Lost Zone. Seven in the Lost Zone. He's got four prizes to my five, and I twins for Lost World, and win. Mirror was not how I wanted to start the day off. 1-0 Round 2 - ??? (Scizor) So, I see a Scyther when we flip stuff over, and I'm actually not too worried. I get a fairly quick set up, as does he, but he tells me that he's got some key pokemon prized. I pull out a Gengar SF with two basic energy on it, and go for Poltergeists, while powering up Gengar Prime. The terrible two end up winning me the game, as he can't keep up. 2-0 Round 3 - Ryan Lankford (LuxChomp) When he flips over Garchomp C, I'm not sure whether he's playing DialgaChomp or LuxChomp. To confuse me more, he throws down a metal at some point early on, but I soon see him pull Luxray GL out, and it becomes fairly obvious. Unfortunately for him, he can't seem to draw into much. The trainer lock is proving to be too hurtful, and I'm able to set up a Poltergeist Gengar quickly. I retreat to Spiritomb for a bit to get Gengar Prime, to potentially land Dialga G LV. X, or just help with spreading. This game doesn't end up lasting long though, as I'm able to kill his Dialga G before it becomes the X. What really made matters worse for him was having four trainers prized. He showed me once we were done with the game, and I was astounded. Never fun doing that against Vilegar. 3-0 Round 4 - Mitch Cleary (DialgaChomp) I knew that, going into this match-up, it was going to be a headache and a half. DialgaChomp, as surprising as this is, is winnable as Vilegar. It is, however, incredibly hard to so. At least, that's been my experience so far. I don't remember too much from this game, but I believe Poltergeist, and Curse Drops on Garchomp C's were huge. Not to mention, I was able to constantly Level Down the Dialga G LV X, keeping it from play a lot. 4-0 Round 5 - Alex Seamen (Gengar/Dusknoir) I've faced Alex many times before, and he's gotten progressively better over the years. This current season, his Gengar/Dusknoir has done well for him, and when I was paired against it, I figured it'd be somewhat rough. However, he started with Spiritomb LA, which allowed me to pile the damage on his Gengar Prime before it could get to be active. Meanwhile, he's using Shadow Command to draw cards, which, unfortunately for him, is only helping me by him piling damage on it. He plays energy to Spiritomb LA, and starts moving a counter over, but I start piling four damage counters on his Gengar Prime once he starts that, until it is at 120. He finally retreats the Spiritomb, sends up the Dusknoir, Levels up, and goes for Shadow Command. At this point, I have Gengar LV. X, and he's got a Dusknoir built up with 100 damage on it. I level it down, and Compound Pain to kill Dusknoir and Gengar Prime. Then, I lay Lost World down to win. 5-0 Round 6 - Collin Makohon (LuxChomp) We were both 5-0 at this point, and both postive that we'd be in top cut. He gets off to a great lead against me, taking prizes left and right. Meanwhile, I'm struggling to set up, but, I'm making sure to keep the trainer lock on him at all times. Gastly's included. He gets down to one prize...and the onslaught stops. He's got a Garchomp C on the bench, powered up and ready to go, only needing either Dialga G LV. X or Garchomp C LV. X to seal the game. Meanwhile, I'm beginning the epic come back against him, first building up his Garchomp C. He draws...attacks. I draw, do some things, pile damage to kill the Garchomp. He draws...attacks. I proceed to begin the Poltergeist fest. He didn't see any of the Level X's he needed, and he kept drawing into trainers to feed my Gengar. I managed to come back, despite him having one prize left, and win. INCREDIBLE game, I was positive Collin had it. 6-0 We only had enough for a top eight. We had 63 masters, just shy for a top 16 (we needed just two more. ) Standings go up, decks are called for, and I find out that I'm playing against...DialgaChomp again. top 8 - Mitch Cleary (DialgaChomp) Game 1 - I get a late set up, while he pile drives me in this game. I start coming back, and I get it down 2 prizes to his one. Close, but no cigar. Not much I could do. Game 2 - I set up Poltergeist Gengar quickly, and get to Vileplume, and start smacking away via Poltergeist, as he has a lot of trainers built up. He decides to scoop to save time for game 3. Game 3 - This was one of those games that looked like I was DONE. My opening hand...Uxie, 2 Call, 2 Rescue, 2 Psychic. I wanted to vomit so bad. He mulligans, so I draw. He mulligans, I draw. He proceeds to do this three more times, which shocked me to no end, and allowed me to get going. Eventaully, I get too powerful of a set up, and Level Down is proving to much for him. It was fun, Mitch. Especially in the third game. 7-0 Now, onto top 4, and I found out I was playing against Magnezone. Not gonna lie, I was not looking forward to this match, and with good reason. Top 4 - Will Beers (MagneRock) Game 1 - I get a fairly quick start, and decide to go forgo Vileplume in this game. I figured he wasn't playing a lot of trainers, which I was mostly correct about. But, I soon learned that what I did was a mistake, as I forgot about Expert Belt and Communication. I got it down two to 1, but I needed a Fainting Spell heads to take the game for me. Game 2 - This game becomes an intense battle. It's a mix of the two of us going back and forth, me sniping at his bench, him hammering at me with Magnezone. Eventually, it gets to the point where he runs out of resources, where I managed to outlast him, and I take the game from there. Game 3 - He gets a quick Magnezone from Stormfront out, and I have to go through 3 Spiritomb to do much of anything. My draws aren't the best this game, but he's struggling as well. Eventually, he pulls ahead, and there's just not much I can do. Great games, Will! 7-1 Props: Getting married to serious cuties. lol All the great people I got to see again. An awesome tournament. A great venue...until... Slops: Having a guy from the hotel come in and kick us from half the space during top cut. (Despite the PTO paying, and being told there wouldn't be restrictions) (If I got any of the match-ups wrong, for those that I played, feel free to lemme know!) Over all, both tournaments were awesome. I look forward to an awesome Regionals.