Cheffords’ 2010 Pokemon National Championships

by Cheffords ~ July 5th, 2010.

Here’s my report from the master’s division at this year’s Nationals.

First, a little about the event. My daughter and I have been planning to attend Nationals this year ever since we failed to go last year. We knew we were golden when we convinced my wife to come along and treat it like a family vacation. The drive from Michigan was easy, about 5 hours, and we made it with plenty of time to get the early registration t-shirts. We didn’t really grasp the scale of the event until Friday morning though.

The venue was gigantic, easily the biggest single room I have been in for a long time (in fact I am having difficulty recalling another time when I was in a room this size.) There are tons of people milling about. There are people in line for the Video Game Tournament. There are side rooms with vendors, open playing, and just hanging out. In the main room there are separate sections for each of the age groups, one for league play and side events, one for eating with tables and one for the video game stuff too.

Throughout the weekend we see people we know from Michigan but also folks we recognize from online like JWittz and Adam from We spent a lot of time hanging out with Team Warp Point (Good Game) who make us honorary members before the weekend is over; YOU GUYS ROCK! And of course we make new friends too. If you didn’t make it this year, I strongly encourage you to plan on being there next year because it is a blast and there is a ton of poemon fun to be had.

Round 1 vs. Brandon (Indiana) with Dusknoir LvX, Gengar LvX

This was my first game and first donk of the event. It went down like this – I go first starting with Mr. Mime; I draw and pass. Brandon opens with Duskull who evolves using Reaper Cloth into Dusclops (who has 80 HP) and attacks with Dark One-eye, discarding to force me to discard. I use Roseanne’s Research to get Uxie and Shuppet (I have 2 PlusPower, 1 psychic energy, and Warp Point in hand); using Uxie’s Setup gets a Crobat G, another PlusPower, and a Super Scoop. I Flash Bite with Crobat G, hit heads on the Super Scoop, scoop and replay Crobat G for another 10 with Flash Bite and then attack with Shuppet with 3 PlusPowers for 60 and the KO.

Brandon takes it okay and we head over to the league tables for a friendly game that goes down to the wire but I win again.

Record: 1 win, 0 losses

Round 2 vs. Matthew (Indiana) with Jumpluff

Matthew goes first opening with Baltoy and passes. I don’t remember the details but I am able to KO the Baltoy and win the game with another donk.

Record: 2 wins, 0 losses

Round 3 vs. Hanaan (Rhode Island) with CurseGar

We chit-chat during setup and find out we are both “pokedads” with kids playing in the other age groups. Hanaan opens with a Spiritomb and Gastly and I immediately know what I am up against. I have played and beaten many CurseGar decks in past tournaments so I know what to expect and I feel confident. On my second turn I KO his Spiritomb and think I am off to the races, however on his next turn he uses Pokemon Collector to get 3 more Spiritombs from his deck and proceeds to trainer lock me for the rest of the game. I never faced a CurseGar that ran and used 4 Spiritomb, but all I have to say is when the game was over and I showed my hand to Hanaan we counted 14 trainer cards.

Record: 2 wins, 1 loss

Round 4 vs. Jay (Iowa) with Kingdra

Jay isn’t very talkative during setup and I get the sense he takes playing very seriously. I mulligan my first draw and Jay takes his time looking at my cards to figure out what I am running, he doesn’t look happy. We shake hands and flip our cards, he has a lone Horsea and I have either an Uxie or Dunsparce (I can’t recall which.) Jay goes first and passes. I play a Buck’s, attach a PlusPower and an energy, and drop Crobat G to the bench using Flash Bite for 10 damage. My attack takes care of the 40 remaining HP and gives me the game. That’s 3 donks out of 4 games, this is a huge difference from my deck’s performance during the 3 Battle Roads I went to.

Record: 3 wins, 1 loss

Round 5 vs. Alex (Indiana) with Dialga G LvX, Garchomp C LvX

We setup and I can’t believe that I am opening with a lone Unown Q. Seriously, I only run one of them and to not have any other basics in hand is unbelievable. I am dreading the donk but hope for the best as we turn over our cards. Alex has a Garchomp C active and a Baltoy on the bench. He goes first but doesn’t the double-colorless energy he needs to donk me and passes. I take a deep breath having survived the opening turn and gather my wits trying to get a quick KO. I use Roseanne’s Research to get Dunsparce and a psychic energy to exploit Garchomp’s weakness. My turn goes well and I KO the Garchomp, however that is the end of my good luck because Alex quickly sets up a Dialga G and proceeds to Deafen me for the remainder of the game. At some point he uses Judge to shuffle Dunsparce and the energy back into the deck. I am left to draw and hope to get an energy or another Roseanne’s but to no avail. He eventually attaches an Expert Belt on Dialga G and with a clever play with Crobat G he gets his last prize card. Another game where trainer lock wrecks me; my final hand had nearly 20 trainers in it.

Record: 3 wins, 2 losses

Round 6 vs. Katheryn (Alabama) with Fainting Spell Gengar

I don’t recall the details of this match but the executive summary is – my deck runs like a clock and I take 6 prizes while Kathryn struggles to get anything threatening setup for very long. I do remember being pleasantly surprised when she uses Shadow Room to KO my Mr. Mime. In the end though, I win without much trouble.

Record: 4 wins, 2 losses

At this point I am feeling pretty good about my deck and my playing. I begin to hope that I might make it into the top-cut.

Round 7 vs. Robert (New Hampshire) with Gardavoir, Nidoqueen

Another “pokedad” here with his kid playing in the seniors division. Robert confesses to being extremely tired because of the long drive the day before and I hope this bodes well for me. Another match where I don’t have many details but Robert plays well enough in his exhausted state to stave off my flurry of attacks and hold me to 3 prizes before time is called, too bad he already has taken 4 prizes. I really feel I could have won this matchup if it weren’t for the 2 Judge cards he played to shuffle away all of my resources at the right moments only to follow up with a Psychic Lock attack to limit my ability to recover. Hats off to Robert to play a smart game in such a state.

Record: 4 wins, 3 losses

This is the last game for the day and despite 3 losses and hopes of top-cut waning, I am feeling pretty good and look forward to the following morning.

Round 8 vs. Rebekah (Louisiana) with straight Machamp

The pairings are posted on time and we are seated and getting setup. During the small talk Rebekah informs me that if she losses again she is going to drop to which the guy next to me concurs. I don’t know what to make of this really because I don’t see the point of coming all that way only to drop before the final round, but whatever I guess.

This game is like the last few because I don’t have many details but do I know that I take one prize per turn and end Rebekah’s tournament (she dropped.) She struggles to get setup only to play to promote a Spiritomb when she needs to play Night Maintenance and Luxury Ball. The one Machamp she does get out and on the bench doesn’t last long enough for her to use because I flip heads on a Pokemon Reversal and hit it hard for the OHKO.

Record: 5 wins, 3 losses

Round 9 vs. Paul (Washington) with Jumpluff, Luxray GL LvX

This one is pretty fresh still in my head so I have more details than the last few. I go first and open with a Crobat G active and something else on the bench. On Paul’s first turn he gets his bench full and evolves up into a Jumpluff with 1 energy and OHKOs my Crobat G. I have a great hand and am able to get Shuppet, energy, several PlusPowers, an Expert belt and OHKO his Jumpluff. This seems to surprise Paul as he goes into he second turn. Again he gets a Jumpluff out and KOs whatever I have active (no Mr. Mime yet.) I know this is a slugfest and I a turn behind so I have to do something to stall him out. I play my turn going for the knock out on his Jumpluff but I see my opening for the next turn to get ahead on prizes. The plan I hatch is to use 2 Poke Blower+ to force his Claydol active so I can KO it. This will slow his recovery down at least for 1 full turn if not longer. As it turns out, when Paul gets control again, he searches for more Jumpluff but isn’t able to find it, he thinks about going for Luxray GL but decides not to. He promotes Chatot and uses Mimic to shuffle his hand and draw 14 cards. I decide to proceed as planned and go after his draw foregoing the easy KO on Chatot (he only has 60 HP.) I also get Mr. Mime in play with Unown Q attached.

It is a little early to celebrate, but I am up in prizes and he doesn’t have a Jumpluff in his deck. He decides to go for Luxray GL LvX and Bright Looks up an Uxie (why he didn’t go for the Crobat G I cannot say) only to retreat in favor of Chatot again. He Mimics for another new hand of 13 cards. Around this time I draw into a Cyclone Energy and keep it in my hand knowing that at some point he will attack with Luxray, leaving him active which is too much HP for me to one-shot. The last few turns are a blur to me, but I know he is obviously trying to get 3 energies on his Luxray in order to KO my Mr. Mime but doesn’t seem to have enough energy left (his multi-energy is already in the discard). My last turn of the game goes like this, I draw into a second Poke Drawer+ which I use to get the last PlusPower and a Crobat G, I retreat Mr. Mime and promote Dunsparce attaching cyclone energy. He switches Luxray for Chatot. I attach all of my PlusPower to Dunsparce and know I have the KO, however I also see Hoppip on the bench and feel like I can get the double KO if I get lucky on a couple of Super Scoop Ups and that is exactly what I do and it wins me the game.

Record: 6 wins, 3 losses

I decide that I have a slim chance still to get into the top-cut of 64 and sort my deck while waiting for the standings to get posted. After a while the standings go up; I finish 79th, well out of top 64. In my flight there were 25 players with 6-3 records who make it into the top-cut. Even so I had a great time and am very happy with the way my deck and I played at the end of the season.

Category: National Championships | Tags: , ,