Gyarados, Gyarados, Gyarados : City Championships, MN, Jan 8+9, 2011

by Pikkdogs ~ January 11th, 2011.

Regice - LAHey Everyone, this is Pikkdogs and Ed here to give you a dual article about the Cities we attended this weekend.  We’re going to see how merging the two reports works.  Pikkdogs played on Jan 8th, and Ed played both the 8th and 9th.  Pikkdog’s matches will be in blue and Ed’s in red.  The article intro is by Pikkdogs, and the wrapup is by Ed.

Jan 8th Misty Mountain Games in Burnsville

I was able to attend a tournament in Minnesota this weekend.  I normally play in Michigan, but I spend my time away from school in Minnesota so I was able to attend the tournament on Saturday in Burnsville, MN.  I was really excited to go to this tournament, because it was slated to be the reunion of Team Omar.  This is because both me and Omar will be in town, so the team will be able to get together for one more tournament.  I have fond memories of this past summer, when Omar won 3 cities so I was excited to see if we can take another victory medal.

I always like to play in Minnesota because the Metgame is much more relaxed.  It is a lot easier to just relax and have a good time with your friends.  I love playing in Michigan as well, but things are more competitive there.  First, you have a lot of really good players who like to win.  This is good but can take some of the fun out of it.  Second, the Metagame is a meat grinder; there are so many players there with good decks that it takes a lot to stand out.  Third, since things are bigger there the game is more official with match slips and stuff like that; its sometimes nice to have a friendlier atmosphere.  Then again Michigan does have some of my best buds like Jona and my Team Warp Point buddies, and there are a bunch of original decks.  So each metagame has different advantages, but it is nice to have a change of pace and play in a quieter environment.

I arrived at Misty Mountain games right at 10 a.m. and was the first T.O. member to arrive.  I turned in my decklist and patiently waited for the tourney to start.  Shortly after registering my team members all arrived, I greeted them and got ready for the tournament.

I stuck with my basic Gyarados list.  I used the same one as in my last tournament; but I switched out a Pokemon Communication for Ditto La, and the 3 Special Dark Energies were changed for 3 Rainbow Energies.  I decided to go with Ditto and the rainbows because of the myriad of 1 or 0 energy decks.  Ditto is not only great against Gyarados, but can work well against Jumpluff and Gengar SF.  So it is a very versatile card.  I do lose a little bit of my donking ability without the Special Dark Energies, but those rarely help anyway.  So without any more distractions, lets go to the report.

Round 1
Pikkdogs Vs. Card Selling Ed (Gengar Sf and Crobat Prime)
Officially I had a bye this round, but my buddy Card Selling Ed (not to be confused with Ed the owner of this site) had a good deck ready and wasn’t playing today, so he invited me for a game while I wait.  This was nice of him since I would be able to get warmed up.

He starts with lone Gastly and “Pitchdarks” the first turn.  I started Crobat G and Uxie then Bebe’s’d for a Sablye and began my setup.  He sets up a Gengar right away, and I knock it out with a “Tail Revenge” and Crobat G “Flash Bites.”  He then tries a Crobat Prime and the “Severe Poison” attack, but whenever he does that I either Scoop it up or warp it out.  I win this game after knocking out a couple more Crobat Primes and Gengar Sf’s.

Ed Vs. T. Andrew T. with Tyranitar
I don’t recall much, but I got set up fairly quickly. I was able to run through his Tyranitars, because he was unable to keep up with energy drops (which my Gyarados doesn’t even require).

Round 2
Pikkdogs Vs. Abdi with Jumpluff
I, of course, hate playing Team Members, especially Abdi.  He’s like one of the nicest guys ever.  But it was me and him, so I have to try to beat him.

I think he starts Uxie and I start Sableye.  I “Impersonate” for a collector and get rolling.  I use “Flash Bites” to knock out a benched Hoppip and then take out the active Uxie on turn 4.  About 4 turns later I use “Flash Bites” to knock out a damaged Jumpluff and “Regimove” up a belted Crobat G for the win.

2-0, easy win, sorry Abdi.

Ed Vs. Andy Wieman with LuxChomp
I Judge twice (thanks to VS Seeker). The first one wasn’t especially good for me. The second wrecked him and gave me the two cards I needed to win.

Round 3
Pikkdogs Vs. Ed with Gyarados
Just before this game I told Ed that I had a premonition that we would play today.  We had played together in 3 tournaments and had yet to face each other.  When I went to look at the parings I am not surprised to see me matched up against Ed.

I had actually not played the mirror matchup in a tournament before, so this was kinda new to me.  He gets setup first and gets a knockout on my Sableye.  I am unable to get a Broken Time Space and therefore a Gyarados.  To combat this I chuck all my Magikarps in the discard pile, attach an Expert Belt, and “Tail Revenge” for 140.  I could have avoided this by using a Crobat G, but I couldn’t find that either.  Ed responds by belting his Sableye and knocking out Ditto with “Over Confident”.  At this point I am 3 prizes down and don’t wanna have to play anymore, so I scoop.  I might have played it out, but since Ed was an undefeated Team Member I just scoop.

My weird draws cause me to not have much a chance against Ed, so now I need to win out to have a chance.


Ed Vs. Josh (Pikkdogs) with Gyarados
We run almost the same lists, except Josh teched for the Gengar/Mirror with Ditto and Rainbow energy. He immediately went for the Ditto strategy, and I think it hurt him when I was able to KO his belted Ditto with my belted Sableye.

Round 4
Pikkdogs Vs. Michael Slutsky with Luxchomp
Mike is a nice Bieberish looking kid who plays a lot better then he looks.  He previously have donked me with a Horsea, I still don’t know how.

I won’t go into too much detail here. I found out that unless Luxchomp starts bad, I lose.  Luxchomp started well here.

I am officially out of the running.


Ed Vs. Soari with LuxChomp
I dunno. It was LuxChomp. Actually, I think I came close to winning about 4 different times. Between him having well-timed Power Sprays and me getting tails on SSUs and such, I think it could have easily been a win if I had slightly better luck.

Round 5
Pikkdogs Vs. Collan with Gyarados
Another mirror matchup, good thing I included Ditto.  I never met Collan before today, but he seems like a nice guy.

We start fairly evenly, but I think I get the first G-dos.  I am able to stay in front of the Prize race through most of the game.  I kept Ditto on the bench, and after the game he mentioned that he never wanted to knockout my G-dos because he knew that I could just return the kill with Ditto.  After we exchange prizes, time gets called and I have a 1 or 2 prize lead.  I get scared when he says “Flash Bite” on Ditto and drops a Crobat G, 3 Turns and a Junk Arm.  But, after we count the damage, he is left 1 damage counter away from knocking him out.

3-2 Not the best record, but was just happy to play with some friends.

Ed Vs. Michael S. with LuxChomp
I’m not sure why, but when I play Michael with Gyarados vs his LuxChomp, I never seem to have a chance. I “hid” an Expert Belt on a Crobat at one point, and in hindsight, I’m not really sure why. After I didn’t PokeTurn it, he Bright Looked it and KO’d it. That was pretty much it.

After the Tourney
I sulk a bit while reflecting on my bad luck for pairing up against 3 LuxChomps. Just 3 days earlier, I had played Uxie Donk in a tourney and got matched up against the only 3 (as far as I know) people that played 4 Spiritomb in their decks. I got lucky against one of them and went 2-2 that day.

Today, I got lucky against Andy (who I can beat in Swiss but never in tops), and came out 1-2 versus LuxChomp. OHKOs on Gyarados is just too much for me to handle. So, I grab my daughter’s and my backpacks and toss them in the car. I come back in for the door prizes and find out that Soari (4-1) is dropping, because he has to be somewhere else. That means the top 4 is a 5-0, two 4-1s, and a 3-2. I think that I spy my name just after Andy (who was 4-1), so I think there’s a bit of luck streaming my way. Indeed, when the top4 is re-set, I’m in 4th. This means that I’m playing the 5-0 Jay Hornung.

Because I was done, and Ed was still playing (props to Sudi for dropping and allowing someone else to get in top 4), I decide to stick around, keep an eye on Ed’s daughter, and watch Ed play Jay H.

I end up playing a fun game against Ed’s daughter, and then watch the end of his game.  He holds everyone up by failing to take a prize when he knocked out a Pokemon, when we finally get the ruling, Ed is able to wrap it up and win game 3.

So I am thankful for just being able to hang out with Team Omar and being able to support Ed as he gets another Top 2 finish. Benny even won Senior’s with Gyarados, so that was cool.  It was no doubt a successful weekend.

From here on out, the report is all Ed’s, so we’ll just stick with black text.

Top-4 Game 1: Jay Hornung playing VileGar
I get a good lead, and as Jay is beginning to come back, I opt to risk a Fainting Spell. Jay gets tails, and scoops soonafter. I make a slight mistake at one point and forget to pull a prize off of my Flash Bite KO, but I grab it just after that, and Jay pretty much just says not to let it happen again.

Top-4 Game 2:
I do not get a good lead in this one, but it’s not too one-sided. About halfway through the game, Jay looks at me and says, “You take like thirty seconds to make every decision!” After that, I make an effort to play faster, but it has nothing to do with the outcome of the game. Jay ends up winning it.

Top-4 Game 3:
I don’t recall the details here, but I’m pretty sure that Jay never gets Vileplume set up. I’m able to Regimove or KO Spiritomb almost every time I need to. I get ahead, and he has a Mewtwo with 70 damage sitting on his bench. I Flash Bite it, PokeTurn, and Flash Bite it again. Jay puts it in his discard, and then I drop Uxie to Set Up to 7 in hand. I announce Tail Revenge, go to grab my prize, and after I grab one, I realize that I did it again. I think he already knew that I forgot to take my Flash Bite prize, so I figured that I’d just take it now. What I didn’t figure is that, because I played the Uxie, I drew an extra card from Set Up (because I “saved” my prize draw until afterward). The head judge (that’s sitting right next to me and watching our game, because the other one is already done) didn’t notice it, and doesn’t really know how to rule it. His first reaction seems to be that I just don’t draw my prize. Andy Wieman speaks up mentioning that I absolutely have to take a prize. When a Pokemon is KO’d, it is not an option whether you take the prize. The problem is that, while Andy is a professor, he plays the winner of the match in top-2. Because he has a stake in the outcome, he should not be making a ruling. Several calls are made to other Professors/TOs, and we get a ruling after about 20min. Jay gets to randomly remove 1 card from my hand and shuffle it back into my deck. Then, I take my prize. I get warnings, and play resumes. Jay hits tails on his second Fainting Spell of our 3 games (maybe this was before all the hoopla), and concedes after we’re in +3.

I don’t like this win. I mean, yeah, I like beating a player of Jay’s caliber, but it was very bittersweet. First, Jay is pissed that I play too slowly, and then my mistake makes us sit and wait 20min (at least what it felt like) for a ruling. Ultimately, I think this was a bad impression to make. He already thinks I’m a Nazi for banning Radu from this site (which never actually happened).


Top-2 Game 1: Andy Wieman playing LuxChomp
I think he gets a KO on Gyarados, and I can’t find BTS. Game.

Top-2 Game 2:
I lose. These games were a bit of a blur. I recall not being able to put Gyarados back together like I usually can, but maybe that was the lack of BTS in the first game. I really need Rescue Energy and Judge in this matchup. Oh well.

So, again, I can beat Andy in Swiss, but never in top cuts. This is the 3rd time I’ve lost to Andy in top-2 (both Cities I’ve played thus far this season and a Battle Roads last season). Andy wins all 3 MN Cities thus far with his LuxChomp. What is in store tomorrow?

Jan 9th Outpost 2000 & Beyond in Coon Rapids
Round 1: CJ with a preconstructed deck
Can you believe that he Beat me on his first turn (after I go first with Sableye)? Luckily for me, Beat only does 10 damage. I get set up fast. He has X2 weakness to Gyarados.

Round 2: Justin with the deck his son made (Masquerain, Shuppet, Sableye, etc.)
Justin has Sableye, but I don’t think he ever used it to Impersonate. He just keeps hitting with Overconfident + Special Dark (which only does 10 +SpDarks for him). He gets a Shuppet with 3 Plus Powers set up at one point, so I play Judge. That’s about the end of it. Really, that’s about the end of my tourney.

Round 3: Michael with LuxChomp
What did I tell you about me playing Gyarados against Michael’s LuxChomp?

Round 4: Nate with Machamp
This one was pretty silly. It’s one of those things that should be frustrating, but what can you do? I start Sableye to his Smeargle. I have a lone Karp on the bench, but I can’t do anything else (my hand is like Judge and a bunch of trainers), so I Impersonate. Now, I should expect him to Portrait, but I don’t really have anything else to do. I impersonate Collector and get Karp, Karp, and Regice. He starts his turn and calls Portrait. The only supporter I have is Judge. He’s kinda upset, because he has all the pieces to play Take Out that turn. He now has to Judge them away. I wish he hadn’t. I can afford to lose Sableye. I can’t afford to lose the rest of my hand. He Judges into a full Machamp Prime on his bench, but has to pass due to no Take Out. I draw and Impersonate (as my new hand from Judge is horrible with like Expert Belt and Junk Arm or some garbage like that). He sets up Machamp SF, plays a Seeker (returning my Karp), and KOs Sableye. Donk

Round 5: Ross playing Jumpluff
I’ve played against Ross and his Jumpluff before. I don’t know how much it’s changed since then. I’m pretty tired of thinking for 2 days straight. I ought to exercise my brain more, so that it’s ready for this sort of thing. I know I can’t top. I have a hard time caring. Ross starts Unown Q (Hoppip on bench) to my Sableye. I throw caution to the wind and drop SpDark to get a “Quick” KO (pun intended). From there, I get a good prize lead, but (thanks to Ross’s repeated use of Judge and Let Loose) I have no good recovery. My lack of caution in the match leads me to go for card drawing and the chance of winning instead of Impersonating to give Ross a prize (but me a better chance in upcoming turns). I recall wasting my hand to Junk Arm a SSU and getting tails. I think I got tails on all my SSUs in this match. I’m convinced that I wasted all my luck on the previous day (lucking into top 4 and then beating Jay on Fainting Spells). I finally get a Combee (which I seem to forget about, because I went SOOO long without playing it) and a Gyarados. The problem is that I need 2 bench slots to use Combee. I have to sacrifice something to use it, and that puts Ross in position to win. In fact, I think I get Gyarados back on my final turn, but Ross has the belted Jumpluff doing 140 (thanks to Combee filling my bench).

So, I go from 2nd one day to 2-3 the next only beating a preconstructed deck and the deck Justin’s kid tossed together the night before. Ick.

Now, on to the only redeeming part of the day. After Juniors is done (in which Ava went 0-3), they give out door prizes. The first prize is obviously (though we’ll revisit that in a few moments) going to be a mat. There are 8 Juniors, so the TO asks for 2 dice. I’m not really certain of what happening until I see it happen. The first roll adds up to more than 8, so it’s rerolled. The second roll adds up to 8, so the 8th name is announced as the winner. I have to step in. My first thought (which I voice) is, “How do you roll a ONE on 2 dice?” My daughter, Ava, is first in alphabetical order, and happens to be name number one. If this is the method, then there’s no way she can possibly win anything. They realize that I’m 100% right and quickly change the dice rolling. The first roll is odd/even (names 1-4 odd, names 5-8 even). The second roll determines the winner. They reroll, and it comes up odd then a one. I already said that Ava is kid #1, so she wins the mat. I’m so pleased!

Dice Roll DistributionIt occurred to me, afterward, that the original 2-die roll had WAY more wrong with it than just not having a possibility of rolling a 1. Have you ever heard of a Bell Curve or the game of Craps? Take a look at this picture (shamelessly stolen from anther website). So, if there were 8 players, and anything over 8 was a reroll, then player 1 has 0 chance of winning. We already established that. But look at how much higher probability it is for players 6, 7, and 8 to win compared to players 2, 3, and 4. It’s a combination thing. When you roll 2 (6-sided dice) there is only ONE way to get a two (1-1). There are 6 ways to get a 7 (1-6, 2-5, 3-4, 4-3, 5-2, and 6-1). Player 7 would have 6 times more of a chance to win the mat than player 2 would have.

Now, back to the obviousness of the mat going to the first winner. In Masters, I recall there being 2 mats. The first winner took a playmatmat. The next winner was a girl named Frankie. She was there with someone else that was really prompting her to take the mat. She wanted a hat. They said it was her choice, and she grabbed the hat. The 3rd door prize was called, and the winner chose the mat. Here’s another lesson in odds. If there is a prize that’s obviously sought after more than others, odds are that people are willing to trade you for the more coveted prize. If you win a mat, but you really want a hat, you can get more than just a hat out of the deal. Take the mat, and while you’re doing it, announce that you really want a hat, and you have a mat for trade. There’s a high probability that your mat will fetch a hat PLUS. I bet some players would give a hat plus a $10 bill. Others might bid a hat plus the cards you need to finish your deck. Odds are in your favor, and if you really really want that hat and can’t get more than a hat, I have no doubt that the hat winner would trade straight-up.

So, Frankie, if you’re out there, you weren’t wrong for wanting a hat more than a playmat. It’s just that you could have done even better, and there’s Ed’s probability lessons for the day.

Category: City Championships | Tags: , ,