UK Nationals - Top 8 Masters Report 2008 Empoleon/Omastar

Discussion in 'Tournaments & Events Worldwide' started by Freddy K., Jun 8, 2008.

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  1. Freddy K.

    Freddy K. New Member

    Hi all, thanks for reading in advance and hopefully this fills some gaps in the storyline of what was overall a smoothly run and enjoyable event that took place in London yesterday.

    I think some form of storyline needs to be given for this report because my journey into Nationals is a pretty exceptional one to say the least. It starts with Spirit of the Game. Quote:

    During and after Worlds 2006 I was informed that I had broken these tenets and was to be suspended from POP as a player for a year. I had my Professorship removed for a lifetime.

    For a year I tried to keep up with the game but very early on it became clear that without a sanctioned league and the facility to attract people to events as a TO I was facing an uphill struggle. Crystal Guardians, Power Keepers, Dragon Frontiers and Diamond/Pearl came out. I couldn't enter any Prereleases nor City Championships let alone run them like I used to so there was little choice but to just get on with life and step out of the game for a year, period. It was hard watching OP progress in the UK into States, then Nationals 2007. Absolutions came and went, as did Banette and Infernape D/P and all the other decks that were there. POP promo packs became broken with Scramble Energy and I couldn't access any of that. I'd already passed on my league kits and cards to local players hoping they'd be able to do something that year with the card pool I had. As a card player it's pretty crushing to give your collections out that way. I'd also had a lot of stock of boxes like Legend Maker and Delta Species that I had to let go at a loss as I couldn't sell them at league anymore so financially I took small losses too.

    After my year had passed I tentatively enquired whether I was going to be allowed back into playing. Prof. Dav (whom I wanted to say thank you to in person yesterday but didn't get a chance to) confirmed I'd be welcomed back as a player in August 2007.

    I found a few reports on Worlds 2007 and liked Yamato's Empoleon, it seemed similar in build to Ludicargo 2006. I played a hybrid of it at an event in the fall of 2007 but came unstuck against a Rhyperior deck and hadn't done as well as I'd wanted to for the journeying I'd made. The rules had changed. There were these Level X Pokémon. The starting phase of the game had changed - both players draw a card. The Trainers were now Supporters, or Stadiums, or neither - it wasn't so generic anymore. Energyless attacks. Everything seemed to be so different, it was hard going online and asking the most basic of questions to my friends who had continued playing on Stateside (see PROPS).

    I didn't make the cut at a London event, taking place in the winter of 2007 if I'm not mistaken. I entered with Blissey-Electivire but misinterpreted Crystal Beach (it does what?) and again that first round loss ultimately cost me further progress later in the tournament when I was 2TKOed when I needed the win in the last round by Daz from Kent. Yet again I felt people were getting my scalp cheaply and rustiness was a key factor but I was determined to progress despite not being able to shuffle cards any more.

    Plus, some major changes in my personal life meant it was even harder to prioritize playing at all and if you do know the situations as a select few of you do you'd probably be thinking why even consider playing on at all, LOL. But, I did and I sat down to consider what I'd be hoping to achieve this year as a player at the start of the season and came to the conclusion that I'd make this a comeback year with a view to being back on form in Nationals 2009. It was a SMART target, and realistic in the sense that very few if anyone at all can go through a suspension and return back at the same level if not better. And for me that level was as one of the top players in the UK, proven by my record of 1st, 2nd and 2nd Place Nationals prior to my suspension.

    Coupled with the fact that Organised Play was in disarray as The Place For Games was no longer running it in the UK during the fall of 2007 and there was even talk of there not being a Nationals event at all in 2008 meant that popularity for Pokémon stalled and there were even fewer events being run in the UK - those that did run took place predominantly in the South East of England and I couldn't access them at all once my suspension was lifted.

    See, I'd made a move to the city of Leicester after I got married to Yasmin *cue Luvdiscs lol <3*. Before the move players who had played and practiced with me weekly had moved on as I'd had my league suspended. When I moved to Leicester, every existing league was over 100 miles in any direction. Finally after many weeks of researching and hoping, I found a card shop that was local (they are very unique and hard to find in the UK at all, I can't think of more than two others across the country and even then they're somewhere down south if at all). The people who attended were predominantly YGO players. People had randomly bought Pokémon theme decks and boosters but they didn't really know much about the mechanics and complexities of the game. Phoenix Games secured league status in February this year finally, when D and A games had secured the contract. Bigger, brighter and better things are in store for Leicester's fledgling league this year but for now it was great to have a platform where people could learn about the game. I hoped for Battle Roads, City Championships and a State Championships as well as two Prereleases and we got them all. Many thanks to Phoenix Games and to Chris Sparks at DandA Games for giving it all the green light.

    Four players migrated over from YGO to Pokémon in the first six months and although two others came this year with me to experience Nationals 2008 it's hoped their success will encourage more players to take up the game and allow Leicester's new league to evolve. Bradley came Top 16 in Seniors with my MagKiss deck he'd only been given that morning. Jonathon in Juniors came Second Place overall in Juniors. And of course, I came Top 8.

    Well, we'd planned to come to the event for months and it involved waking up at 4:30am and getting ready for the 7:00am train to London but we arrived in good time for Registration. I immediately handed my list over, it had been finalised the previous night. I had lost in mirror to Nitesh Doolub the previous week with Empoleon, but realised how to beat mirror and changed the deck accordingly. Out of respect for the players who aided me with the list I'm not going to give out the entire list on the 'gym until US Nationals is over in the least (someone please remind me to do so via PM! :thumb:) but it did contain the following:

    4/3/3/1 Empoleon/LvX (all DP versions with Empoleon MD)
    2/2 Claydol
    1 Chatot
    1 Holon's Castform
    1 Unown Q
    1 Phione
    2/1/2 Omastar

    4 Rare Candy
    4 Bebe's Search
    4 Roseanne's Research
    2 Warp Point

    8 Water Energy
    4 Scramble Energy
    4 Call Energy

    No counter gyms, no Windstorm, no Cessation Crystal.

    In my version for States I played 3 Battle Frontier and one Windstorm. I didn't expect Darkness decks to do as well as they did (and certainly not make the cut) and I didn't see any reason as to why I should get pulled into a Stadium control battle if my opponent played 3-4 Crystal Beach. I'd just be going aggro Empoleon and by not countering gyms incessantly I'd hoped to turn three of their cards into dead draw. Kettler did suggest perhaps one Tauros and I was immensely close to cutting the Castform for it the night before. Like, really close. Neither of us I think realised how that decision changed my game in Top 8 (unless Kettler is Psychic type, which I believe he is LOL <3).

    Really nice hotel and hall. Round one was delayed, an announcement was made that there would be no break for lunch today. This meant people swarmed the hall with Blaziken. No, really. The place filled up with the smell of KFC as people stormed out and brought back food to gobble as quick as they could. People got sick and one if not two people had vomited on the carpets in the actual playing hall. Gross. Especially when you're seated in the first round next to a patch of vomit on the floor. :frown:

    I couldn't wear my sunglasses or I'd be risking a game loss. So unfair lol j/k Kettler you'd be proud of the pair I selected for the day. =)
    One minute after they announced no RPS cards it was decided that RPS cards _were_ allowed. YESSS! I had made mine especially from Clefairy cards in sleeves shouting 'Rock', 'Paper' and 'Scissors'. <3

    Top 16 for Masters, cut after five rounds Single game Swiss, 57 players in the age bracket (47 in Seniors, less in Juniors maybe 30s?)

    Round 1 - Dennis Hopgood - Darkrai/Absol/Togekiss
    I got a Claydol out instantly with some Phione magic. His aim was to Kiss energy onto Darkrai and then slaughter. He started with Darkrai and Togepi on the bench, I believe Phione was sac'ed which activated a Scramble on Empoleon and I filled bench space to 2HKO the Rai. I may have flipped heads for the sleep checks somewhere here too. After a turn or so more his deck gave up on him, he Celio'ed for an Absol and I gave him the chance of taking back as I had the Claydol on the bench so he selected Togetic instead. Two turns later I benched him out ftw.
    I go around the hall and dismiss Sami's Garchomp. I actually predicted he'd play that around a month and a half or so ago. I had no access to Garchomp LvX (I plucked for Eeveelutions at the time and invested in those) - I can hear Levi Canfield chuckling as he's reminded me in the past that not having cards isn't an excuse for not playtesting a matchup.

    Round 2 - Irwin Malek-Chair - GG
    I didn't know this guy was still alive. Former UK Champion in Seniors, now heading off to University, playing GG that Sami lent to him I believe. Pretty straight forward, coaxed him into KOing Empoleon with Gallade and Split Bomb beforehand spreading damage around till it was done. Without Dugtrio GG only wins around 20% of the time in Swiss to Empoleon I'm certain. Hope you stay in the game Irwin.

    Round 3 - Tom Hall - GG/Dugtrio
    Tom's a player to watch next year, him and his brother make a formidable playtesting team. I succeeded in beating off the Dugtrio threat and stay ahead in prizes, splitbombing and allowing him to take an Empoleon in exchange for his GGs. I'd arrived just as the round had started as they did have a technical fault and announced a 10 min break before the round. Ten minutes passed too quickly! I'd gone out and grabbed a prawn mayo sandwich... at the end Tom tried to get a time extension but as I wasn't late beyond a few seconds and we'd started straight away his appeal was dismissed. GG Tom, you're a player that I'm hoping will become rusty next year! j/k
    Tom's deck was one of the two decks I didn't wish to face in the cut early on, because of Dugtrio. It's too disadvantageous to Empoleon.

    Round 4 - Yacine Sekkoum - ??? (Gardy?)
    Both of us I believe really enoyed this game. Yacine's a little rusty with examinations too. You'll have to remind me of what it was that you played, I can't remember much except I just got established and took control. He scooped as soon as I showed him some key cards with around 5 minutes to go.

    I'm guaranteed cut. (YES!)
    Some real heroes of the past didn't make it that far. Andy Stone (second last year), Ian Elliott (did really well in London States, Top 4 and lost I believe to Sami there... Ian bubbled me out of the cut this year and won against me in UK Nats 2006?), Justin Kempley (consistently underperforming player - we'll have to work on that together next season Justin ;x ), Irwin-MC...

    Lots of new players who I've never heard of before plus comebacks from Nitesh Doolub (beat me in Leicester States a week prior to Nationals, Empoleon mirror and 1st in the Grinder at Worlds 200x)... GJ to Yacine and Nitesh who made it into the cut. But the next matchup could not be avoided.

    Round 5 - Sami S - Garchomp/LvX/Dugtrio/Dusknoir/Claydol/Absol ex

    Well, basically I went aggro and stayed ahead in prizes - I'm 4-1 up in prizes two minutes going into the end of the round but I make an error that cost me a prize penalty and a swop. I found the weakness in Sami's deck and was about to nail the match but shuffled Empoleon and two Water energy into my DECK >_< rather than bench them and end turn. The deck was just shuffled so I believe it was reversible (I had just used a Roseanne's research so I knew the contents) but Sami capitalised on the only way that he could comeback and win that match after my gameplay error.
    What can I say??? :rolleyes: Ironically if I'd have played slower I'd have won the match but out of respect for my opponent I actually rushed and made that error.

    Top 16 - Nitesh Doolub - Empoleon/Omastar
    Cut to Top 16, briefly I 2-0'ed Nitesh in mirror, which normally is won by whoever sets off first and split bombs/evolves to Claydol, he acknowledged how good my deck was compared to how it was last week especially with the TeCH for mirror. A week's worth of intensive work paid off. I'm sure Nitesh will do just as well next season, congrats on T16 this year. Thanks for mentioning how your thought my play was flawless, I was honoured with that. Look forward to playing you next season dude =)

    Top 8 - Jem? - Darkrai/Honchkrow/Absol
    Okay, first of all and no taking away from the fact that he did so well today but who actually would have expected this to have figured in the metagame in the Top 8 cut? ANYWAY... I win the first game after around 25 mins and it's all going good. He plays 3-4 Energy Removal 2 and HITS EVERY ONE.
    Second game - lone Castform. I have the Call Energy and don't want to waste an Energy Drop, I have Roseannes, Empoleon, another W energy, a Rare Candy and some Omanyte jank I believe. So I decide to go for the rush instead of Call Energy Castform extend game etc. He wins in 3 turns after Darkrai LvX does its two tails and you're KOed on my Empoleon. >_<
    Third game - okay, well lessie. I start with VIRTUALLY the same hand. No joke. Holon's Castform and Call Energy, I'm nearly sick. It's laughing at me. I'm like okay, let's make sure this doesn't go the same way. Call Energy, get Phione and Baltoy out. He ER2's. HEADS. ugh. We both set up but he gets the better set up and when you play Empoleon it's not good if you are being forced to go aggro. I also have no idea of how much time there is left in the round - misplay Freddy >_< I don't know when to shoot ahead in prizes and no judge is telling us how long there is left... ugh. So I'm trying to get Scrambles on Empoleon. Every time I hit a Scramble, he ER2's it. 7 ER2'S IN TWO GAMES OUT OF SEVEN HIT HEADS. I KO a Pokémon. He plays TSD. HEADS... HEADS... HEADS... I'm like jeeeeez. Sami's in the game beside me, he knows I'm in trouble and can't believe what he's seeing.. I'm like I'm running outta options real fast. Jem eventually gets a Honchkrow LvX swinging out for idk 2000 per turn and everything's going red while I'm being shot to pieces... and then time is called and it's too late. WHAT CAN YOU DO???? LOL
    Fair play to Jem for running that deck all season apparently and for doing well. The dream is over for now.

    I haven't seen the result yet overall, my bet was on Sami taking it. It would have been an awesome game if I was matched against him. I knew the weakspot and the match could have gone either way I'm sure.

    Now the twist in the story.

    If I had won the trip this year, I would not have gone.

    See, I only get to see my girls twice a year now. 2 weeks at Christmas, and 4 weeks in the Summer. Then they go off to France. They're 6 and 3 this year.

    We'll be going to Disneyland Paris together first week of August. If I'd have won the trip, it would have been a week away from them.
    And, I don't think I would have been able to handle that. It doesn't sit with me at all, they're far too important.
    So even if I'd have gotten the invitation, I'd not have gone to Worlds this year.
    Coupled with the fact that I'm also due back to work mid-August as I work at a Sixth Form college now and their vacations are earlier in the year. So that would clash with Worlds, but it's a minor point.

    But the way things progressed, worked out in the best way. Jem has his invitation and perhaps he'll take it up and fly to FL for his first Worlds experience.
    Sami and Yacine have their invitations, they may also have a trip each I have yet to find out.
    My two girls get to see me for an extra precious week this summer.
    And that is more than I could ever hope to win at a card tournament.

    - Ben Ward - for running the tournament behind the scenes with the (in spite of the?) computer issues. Major props to him for volunteering.
    - Ian Fotheringham - for securing a judging spot at Worlds - congratulations and thanks also to your wife Jane for chats in-between rounds
    - Prof. Dav - for coming along to Nationals, overseeing some important points of the game between Sami and myself during Swiss and for allowing me back into the Player program.
    - Chris Sparks and D and A games - for successfully running their first Pokémon Nationals - please, please consider running the next one outside London and a little more central in the UK??? :biggrin:
    - To TRUK (Chris Silver), Pram (Michael Pramawat), Levi Canfield, Chad Harris, John Kettler, Pablo Meza and all the others who helped me through this period as a player struggling to get back in. I truly love you all guys. To the people who also kept in touch and kept my spirits up. Chris Fulop, Matt Moss, Drew Holton, GrandmaJoner, Blizzard, and those that I've failed to mention... love you all guys, can't wait till I meet all of you again.
    - Yasmin, my wife - it's been almost a year now that we've been married and she's given all the love and support I have needed - as well as a huge dose of tolerance for the weird hobby her husband is involved in. This time last year she didn't know what a Pokémon was <3
    - Phoenix Games - Chris, Steve and the staff there - for their support of the game and for some fantastic events that helped me rediscover why I play this game. Just watch out for Team Phione-ix next year!
    - all the players and the fans who I met throughout this season as well as yesterday

    Thanks to God (Allah) who helped give me the courage and good health to play and to win.

    See you guys next season and the best of luck to those who made it through this year.

    - fK
  2. Jason

    Jason New Member

    wow...what a good comeback you got there :)

    And if you really cant go to worlds, can you set yourselves to NOIR on Thanks :)

    (i couldnt easily work out what you were saying about your girls)
  3. The Machampion

    The Machampion New Member

    Freddy That Was An amazing Report and You Did Well And got 1st place with you being able to see your duaghters this year. Its Also An amazing Journey You've Had Back Into Pokemon.

    Welld done From Luke
  4. ToysRUsKid

    ToysRUsKid Active Member

    Ugghh Luck. I hate that sooo much :(

    Anyway, Great Job, you did what you could do. Hopefully see you soon.

    09 may be the last year =|
  5. NoPoke

    NoPoke New Member

    Maybe not quite the return you had planned but solid nonetheless. I look forward to seeing you next year when you travel away from Pheonix Games.

    like you say
  6. Donezator

    Donezator New Member

    Freddy, its been great learning from you this year, hope to see you at Leicester very soon.

    Perhaps you can mentor me in preparation for Worlds ?

    Last edited: Jun 17, 2008
  7. ukpokemonpro

    ukpokemonpro New Member

    Freddy you have made a great return and I really have to say you have behaved like a true gentleman at every tournament I have seen you play at.

    I hope we see more of you as we run into the 2008-2009 season :thumb:

    With regards to the computer glitches .. there weren't any.. I made a couple of minor mistakes which meant a small delay in pairing one round - thanks to Ian F for showing me how to correct that one and the second meant we delayed confirming the juniors standings - thanks to Dave for showing us the way forward -

    We rectified the error in Juniors after the Seniors and Masters had finished so as not to hold up the tournament and to avoid previous years crashes :rolleyes:

    But the equipment behaved itself .. it's the scorekeeper who had the odd wobble :redface:

    Organisation was I think pretty good on the day with Chris doing all the TO work on setting up the venue and organising staff on the day and then trusting them to get on with it.. something not seen under TPfG.

    We know we made a few minor errors but we will learn from those :smile:

    My props go to all the players on the day who with few exceptions made it a great nationals and of course Mega Props to Russell who stayed the unflappable Head Judge and Gargantuous Props to Chris and D&A for picking up UK OP and pushing us forward.

    Lastly the GODLIKE Props to Mr S for being himself and for supplying some great quotes from the day.. when answering one player who asked ..


    Anyhow great day guys and BTW I ran nothing but TOM and the scorekeeping on the day.. props where they are due .. and well done to all who played, judged, helped and made it a great day..
  8. ice_brakerz

    ice_brakerz New Member

    congrats freddy... great play.... see you in UK :D
  9. Rainbowgym

    Rainbowgym Active Member

    It's possible but it's difficult.
    For me it was 2 years, very long years because I couldn't stay away from tournaments, because I had kids playing.
    I was present at each tournament, not able to play, reading books playing on my DS.
    I don't think anybody can imagine how horrible that position is.
    If I only would have been allowed judging or helping........

    Anyway, I wanted to ask if you are willing to turn your status into NOIR to give another EU player the option to use the World invite (if I read correct you are not going). You should jump into the T25 with your Nationals record I think.

    Nice report I always love to read them all.

    [email protected]
  10. Kempley05

    Kempley05 New Member

    Thanks for the kind mention Freddy. Like you say given your circumstance I think that was a very solid preformance, and if anything I think we all agree you could have gone further! Good luck for 2008-09
  11. PokemonSteve

    PokemonSteve New Member

    Well done fred on a great return.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2008
  12. andceo

    andceo New Member

    I'm very glad to see you coming back.
    And you played a great all my congratulations.
    It's a pity you'll not be at Worlds this year.
    I hope to meet you next year!
  13. phoenixback4fire

    phoenixback4fire New Member

    Does the uk have the same hp-on format? or is it different?> thank you
  14. amphyrules

    amphyrules New Member

    Unlucky in top 8.

  15. Pablo

    Pablo New Member

    Wow Freddy, that was an AMAZING report, seriously. If only all the reports posted here were of this quality, the PokeGym would be a much better place.

    I wish you'd get on MSN more often, this in particular has me very preoccupied:

    Hopefully I'll talk to you soon.
  16. afirule

    afirule New Member

    true pro, and a gent to boot.
    GJ pal!
  17. KaMewie

    KaMewie New Member

    Nah man, Family's more important than a hobby. Truck luck and a good comeback. Hope to see you next year. Good Job and Good Luck as a player.

    Asians ftw. :p
  18. BLiZzArD

    BLiZzArD New Member

    Great Report Freddy like Pablo I am also concerned talking to to you over Instant messenger is always a highlight for me I truly enjoy our friendship will miss you at worlds if you need anything you know where to find me.

  19. afirule

    afirule New Member

    oh and i just noticed....
    sorry! :redface:
  20. kaworu

    kaworu New Member

    Great player, calm and collect. Only had a brief chat but it was nice.

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