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: , ,
  • Anonymous

    In Colleen’s defense on the mat–lots to juggle. Not saying it’s right, just saying the Laws of Probability are one of many things on her mind, no doubt.

    How did Outpost 2000 end? Can whoever was there post? Thanks!

    • Ed

      You’re 100% right. That’s why I didn’t name any names. It was intended more to be an interesting discussion point than any sort of accusation. I didn’t even consider the probability piece of it until I was at home. I just knew that you couldn’t roll a 1 on 2 dice. In fact, if she had only taken my comment into account, she may have just subtracted ONE from the 2d6 roll to determine a winner. In her defense, she switched tactics completely. It’s quite possible that she realized the error and wanted to fix it right away. Colleen did a great job to correct the situation. I have no problem with how she handled it.

      Andy W. told me that…

      Michael (LuxChomp) beat Rich (Steelix)
      Nick (VileGar) beat Conner (LuxChomp???)

      Then Nick beat Michael for the medal.

      • Anonymous

        Colleen is great, love that lady.

      • Nick vs Conner was Vilegar vs Vilegar.

        • Ed

          Thanks. Fixed.

  • Anonymous

    Ed and Pikkdogs, will we be seeing your Gyarados deck lists?

    • Anonymous

      This is a link to an article, in which contains the basic decklist that I am running. It isn’t in the article itself, but is in the comment
      section, Austino posted it.

      My tweaks took out 1 vs seeker for a ditto, a pokemon rescue for a combee, and the special darks for rainbow energies.

      • Anonymous

        omg, that article was like sea blaster in its usefulness

        • Ed

          Well, the useful piece was in the comment section.

    • Ed

      Yeah, what Pikkdogs said. The post you’re looking for starts with “My Personal List”.

      I think I ran that exact list at one CC. Then, I tweaked maybe 3 cards. DG/DGX became Chansey/Blissey, and 1 Warp Energy became a Warp Point (for the mirror match, while Gyarados had more popularity around here).

      This past weekend (what this report is based on), I dropped Chansey/Blissey and put in a Combee and a Seeker (for Trainer Lock). I also swapped Cynthia’s Feelings for a Judge (for the SP matchup).

      That’s all, I think. Pikkdogs took things a bit further with his Ditto/Rainbow tech.

      I really like this build. Most people think that Seeker and Gyarados go hand in hand. This deck shows that it doesn’t have to be that way. Most people think Volkner is a useless throwback to the days of Felicity. Again, it’s not necessarily true.

      Most people won’t play the SpDark, because they think it’s only useful on turn 1. Once again, untrue. In fact, I’ve discussed this with Pikk in the past, and I believe his swap of SpDark for Rainbow is not the right move. That doesn’t mean his tech idea has no merit. I just wouldn’t play it that way, because I love the SpDark. In fact, I’ve wished I could fit 4, but other things are more important.

      Pikk and I also discussed his removal of VS Seeker. I think that card is SO good in this deck. With Junk Arm, you can reuse supporters multiple times. Often you don’t need it, but when it comes in handy, you’ll fall in love.

      Back in the Felicity days, I did play this deck with Pokemon Reversal. I have to say that I REALLY miss that. It gave the deck a lot better shot at beating LuxChomp. If you could keep Lucario off the board, you can forget about the OHKOs. I’ll look at ways to tweak the deck now that I have time. I plan to play with the Seeker-based version a bit, because it may leave a bit more wiggle room. I really dig Volkner/Regimove as a draw engine, but I don’t know if that will hold up if I mess around. Who knows what the next set brings.

      • Anonymous

        Cool, thanks guys. I want to build this deck to play test with my friends at work to get more practice against it. I think there were a fair number of players running Gyarados at City Championships and I figure it ain’t going away anytime soon so I might as well get as familiar with it as I can.

        As to your Lucario issues; if you are running Junk Arm already, can you afford 1 slot for a Pokemon Reversal? I say only 1 because if the flip misses, you can Junk Arm it back for another try. Just a thought.

        The other idea I had was Luxray GL Lv.X. I don’t know if you are running Poke Turns already or not (haven’t looked at the list you linked to just yet) but if you really want to target and KO specific Pokemon in play, this is the #1 way to do it.

        • Ed

          It is a good solid deck. I would say that the majority of Gyarados decks will be the version with heavy Seeker counts (low/no SSU counts), low/no Volkner, and no SpDark. They will have room for more techs.

          Also, for a bit, I tested a trainer-heavy build. I’ve heard that some others were playing this (and probably built a better version). It relies more on Dual Ball and Junk Arm to get set up which gives the deck very realistic first-turn Gyarados potential. I think it also sacrifices consistency and recoverability, but I’ve not tested it all that much.

          If you’re going to go after Lucario, I think you have to do it ASAP. I don’t believe 1 Reversal will make much of a difference, to be honest. My deck does run 2 Crobat G and 4 Poke Turn. A 1-1 Luxray GL Lv X is not a bad play. I just never liked how it felt in the deck.

          You might think that a 1-1 DGX would be harder to maintain, but it’s an entirely different fundamental shift in deck strategy. DGX is there for a specific purpose against PokeBodies (like Spiritomb and Vileplume). It can shift the way you play those matchups (when needed), otherwise, you just Regimove it. If they KO your Gyarados, you can bring up DG, X it, recover your Gyarados, Poketurn DGX, bring up Gyarados, and play DG on the bench.

          Luxray shifts the way you play in general. Now you are always concerning yourself with how to bring up Lux (to X it), whether you should burn a Poketurn on Crobat or not, whether they have a Power Spray or not, whether to retreat LuxX or to Turn it, etc. And, in the LuxChomp matchup, all of this detracts from the ability to double Flash Bite the opposing Luxray/Garchomp to get the extra 20 damage (Gyarados doing 90).

          I will not say that Luxray is a bad addition to a Gyarados deck. I just think it shifts the deck’s focus in a way that I don’t want.

      • Anonymous

        When you mentioned how Volkners was good and no one thinks so, it reminds me of a time I played against trainerlock. I had 4 karps in my hand, but had no way to discard them. I played and evolved 2 of them, and I volkners’d 1 and impersonated for volkners and discarded the other one. My opponent was shockec at how fast I did that.

  • Anonymous

    If i had to make the ruling, put the 7th card in the deck

    but what do i know?

    • Ed

      The problem is that there’s no way to prove which card was the 7th. Even if asked, I could not have said for sure at that point, either. The gap of time between the error and getting ahold of an outside source/judge compounded that piece of it, too.

  • Anonymous

    I wasn’t pissed about the forgetting to draw a prize that stuff happens, honest mistake, I wasn’t mad about waiting 20mins for a ruling once again it happens. What I was pissed about was getting 20 mins or less of our hour to play. I understand slow playing against Vilegar is a stradgey but were not talking about you playing out a game you had lost (like the second, I had a Mewtwo with 3 Energy you were not able to kill it and you had damage counters in play I could move with Curse so even if you got another dos out I could dish out the 130 to KO it, however you played it out and ate another 2-3 mins on the clock on your final turn) I don’t have a problem with this since you have the right to play the game and doing so legally. The problem I had was how long it took you to make a play even really simple ones. It took you 15 seconds to play a SSU (I counted) another 10 seconds to play another SSU followed by another 10 Seconds to play a Volkners, a few more seconds to think about your discard, I could go on for quite a while since this is how our match went. By the end of the second game my turns were literally 15-20 second turns becuase I had to do everything I could to off set your turns. I was also bitter about the fact that her “head judge” wasn’t even a professor because to be honest I don’t feel like this would have happened at a tournament in Wisconsin or IL. I actually had a debate with Andy on that third game he asked me why I didn’t set up Vilaplume because my had was actually really playable. He said when the third game started we had 16mins on the clock. I basically told him out of that 16 mins you were going to let me have 5 tops which mean my only chance was go straight Gengar and get cheap pixie kills and flip what is most likely a huge FS somewhere along the way.

    Ed I don’t have anything persoanl against you so don’t feel like I do, believe me next time I see you I’ll come over and shake your hand. Its a game, I’m not going to go home bitter over it. But yes I do feel like you slow played me, on top of that I felt like it was incredibly obivous that I was getting slow played and I had absolutly no recourse to it since there was no floor judge, only 1 head judge (heck one Judge total)(while I’m sure is a perfect nice guy) should not have been judging this event let alone be judging it alone.

    • Ed

      You know, when you spell it out like this, I can completely see where you’re coming from. I agree that, had the roles been switched, I would probably have been frustrated with the situation. I don’t want to make excuses, but your comments about this not happening in WI or IL got me thinking. Hear me out, because, if this is an actual problem for me, I will need to correct it before States/Regionals (at the least). We’ll get back to that in a second, though.

      First of all, I know I play slow. Omar, the guy I’ve probably playtested against the most, would tell you in a heartbeat that I overthink all my moves against him. From my experience, it’s directly proportional to my opponent’s ability/deck. The tougher the match, the slower I will play. Yeah, that may be obvious, but perhaps my time growth is exponential whereas most people’s is linear.

      Now, in the past tourneys that I’ve played in, this has never been an issue. This is where your WI/IL comment comes in. As you’ve mentioned, MN is different. I never thought about it from this angle before, though. Thus far, since I’ve gotten back into the game a bit over a year ago, I’ve only played in 1 non-MN event. In regionals I just missed top cuts. In states, I was 5th after swiss, but dropped. Therefore, I have never experienced any 2 of 3 matches out of state (or at a higher level than cities).

      Now, in MN, I have topped a few BRs and Cities. The problem, besides how things are judged, is that most of the time I topped, the TO/Judge decided against 2/3 matches. In fact, the only time I recall playing in a 2/3 top cut before I played you, was against Andy in a BR that had only 4 rounds and cut to top 2. I didn’t recall time being a factor there, but I just looked it up.
      It did go to sudden-death for the entirety of game 3.

      The point is that I haven’t been around that long. During the time I have been around, I’ve only played in a handful of top cuts. Out of those, only a couple have been 2/3, and none have ever been judged critically (the one against you a case in point). I wonder if this has skewed my outlook on how play should flow (as compared to someone like yourself thats used to playing top players in tourneys that are judged quite differently).

      I can say that against you, before you mentioned my slow play, I had honestly not even considered how much time was being used. I was not conscious of it, and it was not strategic. After you mentioned it, I was very conscious of it, and it was on my mind both to play my moves faster and also that you were concerned/bothered by it. If you (an undisputed top player) are worried about it, that must mean that you felt it was in my favor. I did make an effort to make decisions/moves faster from that point on, but I was then also very conscious of the fact that I should play out the second game even if I knew I couldn’t win. At that point, though, I’m sure it looked completely different from each perspective. For me, I thought I was playing my turns about twice as fast as the previous game. From your perspective, it probably seems that I’m still playing slow (maybe slightly less slow) and now I’m dragging out an unwinnable game (which I could see may lead you to believe that it was a conscious thing all along).

      I don’t know that this is the proper forum to discuss this, but perhaps it can serve someone else at some point. I’m not trying to blame anyone and say that I’m just a product of the MN Pokemon system, so it’s not my fault. I hope it didn’t come off like that. I take responsibility for my slow play, and I now see that I need to be more conscious of that and work to make it faster. To be honest, this is one of the reasons that I never play SP in a tourney. It would have been about 10x worse.

      Up to this point (and perhaps sadly, even during/after the match against you), no judge has ever even questioned my play. I’ve been talked to about sleeves. That’s about it. Maybe if I would have been playing elsewhere, this would have come up and been dealt with before a city championship was on the line.

      For the Nth time, I know that I overthink things, and my play can be slow because of that. To me, that is not at issue. My concern is that it has come to the point where it’s breaking the rules, and that’s a problem. On top of that, if people think that I am consciously trying to break the rules, it’s a huge integrity problem for me. I don’t want to be that guy.

      • Anonymous

        I think it’s age. (I mean, look at the length of that post! Only retired people have that much time.)

        –someone older than Ed

        • Ed

          If I overthink my replies it lends credibility to my claim that I overthink my plays.

    • Anonymous

      Hey Jay

      I agree with you on the fact that Mn tournaments are kind of like a joke compared to others. More then once I have caught the judge in a bad ruling, and don’t really trust him. Its not all the judges fault, the MN players too play in un-professional ways. I was playing someone this weekend and at the end of his turn he retreated his pokemon and then ended the turn. I then drew a card and was contemplating what was going on, while I was doing this the opponent switched his Pokemon back, other people on the table saw this and didn’t say anything. It all results in a very relaxed playing style, which is not bad, its just more like a friendly practice game. I actually kind of like it, but it is not the professional feeling that you get from a normal Pokemon tournament.

      As for Ed slowplaying you, I did not get to watch the entire 60 minute match, but did watch the last game. From what I saw he was not doing anything unusually. I too take a long time to make a decision, especially in a big matchup each decision with Gyarados is very important and you have to make sure its the best play. Its just the nature of the game, and because of that it takes a long time. Its one of the reasons why I stopped playing trainerlock, its just too slow for the playoff rounds.

      I do know Ed personally and know that he would not stall as a strategy, we both take a long time to make decisions with that decks. Its just how it is.

      • Yes, there are some questionable MN judges. Not all are bad, some are. As for MN players play “un-professional”, just because you probably played a scrub doesn’t mean all mn players are un-professional. If you saw him switch his pokemon after retreating you would call a judge, if you didn’t that’s your fault and he got a free second retreat.

        • Anonymous

          Im not going to name, names. But it was no scrub. It was a top player, one that usually top cuts. And I was sitting at a top table next to other great players. So it wasn’t just one rogue player.

          Not that I cared, if I did I would call him on it.

          What I meant is that things in MN are more relaxed then other people. Its kind of like a fun playtesting session. Not that its a bad thing, I actually enjoy it, I’m just pointing it out.

      • Anonymous

        I’m not calling Ed or saying he is some evil person, I’m not. I said it before and I’ll say it again this game is very small part of my life, yes I play to win, yes I play competively, but I won’t go home bitter on a cities level tournament.

        The judge seemed like a perfectly nice guy I would be more than willing to go out and have a beer with the guy. But that doesn’t change my opinion that he was not qualified to judge the tournament alone. I’m a nice guy but would you let me perform surgery on you?

        let me rephrase this

        Intentional Slowplaying = Cheating
        Slow Playing = Playing Slow

        Neither are legal, one is obiviously worse than the other

        I would like to give Ed the benefit of the doubt here and say it wasn’t intentional. But slow playing is still slow playing If we have an hour to play, half an hour of the hour should be mine. I won’t sit here and quote you the rule book on precise times to make a play becuase I do believe they try and leave alot of discression to the judges.

        “I too take a long time to make a decision, especially in a big matchup each decision with Gyarados is very important and you have to make sure its the best play. Its just the nature of the game, and because of that it takes a long time.”

        This I have a problem with just because your playing a complex deck doesn’t give you the ablility to allow you extra time to think through your decesions. Gardevoir was my favorite deck of all time mainly from the fact how many opitions it gave you and how many different ways you could play a match up but that doesnt mean I could sit there and take extremely long turns. I don’t think I was ever told I needed to play faster with Gardevoir but had a judge asked me to play faster how far do you think I would have gotten with “you have to bare with me its a complex deck”

        • Anonymous

          I agree, except with the last part.

          This isn’t speed chess. A player has all the right in the world to take as much time as needed to think through a decision. If his/her opponent thinks that it is excessive he/she can call a judge over who can hurry the player.

          This fact isn’t the best thing for the game, because it makes everyone play fast decks, but I never heard anyone say that it isn’t legal.

          I’ve never seen anyone before making a big deal about thinking over your decisions, not that Im saying Im mad at you or anything, cause Im not. I just think that on this one issue you aren’t 100% correct/

          • Ed

            Just to keep this from moving toward speculation, I’ll paste some rules…


            21.2. Mid-game Time Limit
            Any mid-game effects, such as deck search effects and shuffling, are to take place in a reasonable amount of time. If a judge feels that a player’s searching or shuffling time is unwarranted, that player will be subject to the Game Tempo section of the POP Penalty Guidelines. A judge may issue a time extension on a match where a player is playing slowly. The extra time allotted must be clearly communicated to both players and recorded immediately by the judge.


            7.4. Game Tempo
            The pace of a Pokémon TGC game should be lively without being excessively fast, and each player should receive approximately half of the allotted time for the game. However, the way players react to pressure can have an impact on the tempo at which they take their turns. Judges should watch for changes in tempo and make corrections if needed
            In general, the following time limits for various game actions should be appropriate. The times given below are general guidelines; players attempting to compartmentalize their turn in order to use every second of the time allowed for the items below are almost certainly stalling and should be subject to the Unsporting Conduct: Severe penalties.
            – Performing the actions of a card or attack: 15 seconds
            – Shuffling and setup, game start: 2 minutes
            – Shuffling and deck search, mid-game: 15 seconds
            – Starting the turn after opponent’s “end of turn” announcement: 5 seconds
            – Considering the game position before playing a card: 10 seconds
            7.4.1. Slow Play
            Players should take care to play in a manner that keeps the game pace lively, regardless of the complexity of the situation. A player who takes too long to make decisions about game play runs the risk of putting his or her opponent at a disadvantage due to the round’s time limit. In addition to the recommended penalty, the judge may issue a time extension to offset this disadvantage.
            Examples of Game Tempo: Slow Play include:
            – You are excessively slow when deciding which Pokémon to attach an Energy card to.
            – You take an unreasonable amount of time deciding which Basic Pokémon to take from your deck after playing a Poké Ball card.
            – Counting or searching your (or your opponent’s) deck or discard pile more than once in a short time period.
            – Repeatedly searching your deck, hand, or discard pile while performing a card effect.
            – Attempting to engage in extraneous conversation that interferes with timely play.
            Pokémon Organized Play Penalty Guidelines
            Rev: September 1, 2010
            Recommended Starting Penalty:
            Tier 1: Caution
            Tier 2: Warning
            7.4.2. Rushing
            Rushing involves a player trying to get his or her opponent to play faster. This can cause the opponent to lose his or her concentration, making the player more likely to make a mistake. Rushing is often a symptom of an opponent’s Slow Play, but it can also occur when a player is excited to get to his or her next turn.
            Examples of Game Tempo: Rushing include:
            – Placing your hand near your deck to draw a card during an opponent’s turn, indicating that you are ready to start your turn.
            – Making exasperated noises or comments regarding your opponent’s actions.
            – Rushing through your opponent’s attack step by putting damage on your Pokémon before your opponent announces which attack is being used, or the total damage being done to the Defending Pokémon.
            Recommended Starting Penalty:
            Tier 1: Caution
            Tier 2: Warning

          • Anonymous

            The thing that should be noted is that these are recommendations for time. If a player keeps flirtying with these they will get slapped. “Considering the game position before playing a card: 10 seconds” this is the really big one trying taking 10 seconds inbetween every play and see what happens expecially with Luxchomp I could easily take a 10 min turn if I tried to push all the rules.

          • Ed

            Right. The main intention was to show that there were published guidelines. Note that the “limits” come from the Penalty Guidelines manual whereas the Tournament Rules simply state that, “A judge may issue a time extension on a match where a player is playing slowly.”

          • Anonymous

            Its not legal and your not allowed to “take all the time in the world” (were not even talking about ed anymore fyi). Here are a few “big examples”

            Gino gets a game loss round 1 in top 8 of Nationals for taking to long between plays (he was playing GG) and unlikely he was stalling considering it was game 1
            Ness and Gino get a 5 min time extenion in top 4 of Worlds from multible slow play violations on both sides.

            These are the big ones I can think like with real money on the line. Bottomline is no you don’t get to run the clock. There is also a differnce between thinking over a decesion and your decesions. Usually there is one or two “big” turns in a game where a player needs more time to think, which depending on the situation nobody says much but when every turn is dragged out to think over even simple plays. Than yes that is a problem.

          • Ed

            “Intentional Slowplaying = Cheating
            Slow Playing = Playing Slow”

            I’m glad you made this distinction. It’s what I was getting at earlier, but with different terminology. I had thought that if someone stated something like, “I got slowplayed.” that it would imply intentional slowplay (cheating). That was my main concern at the start of all of this. If I unintentionally broke the rules, then I can learn from that and try not to do it in the future.

            Cheating is a whole different matter, and I wanted to be clear that I hadn’t intentionally cheated. Ultimately, to the opponent (you in this case), the outcome is the same. I’m sorry for that.

        • Radu

          “The judge seemed like a perfectly nice guy I would be more than willing to go out and have a beer with the guy. But that doesn’t change my opinion that he was not qualified to judge the tournament alone. I’m a nice guy but would you let me perform surgery on you? ”

          There about a 50/50 chance I would let you perform surgery on me. Depends on what it is tho. A open heart surgery, maybe. A simple outpatient vasectomy, never.

          Anyways, don’t complain about getting timed out, you know damn well that you have intentionally used time in a way that might be frowned down upon by judges. Now that being said they who judged is an incompetent judge, I have pretty much told him what to do before in a situation where I was a party in the ruling. I mean don’t blame the player, blame the judged who couldn’t do anything about it.

  • I think its awesome that you stuck out the same deck throughout city’s no matter how well you did. I did the same thing and I ended up getting A win, 2 2nds, and 2 top 4s. I also had a 1-3 record at rockford which was due to some bad luck and perhaps cutting consistency for techs. But I stuck it out, played the same deck the next day less teched out and ended up winning. Consistency really does play off. Well done Ed.

    • Ed

      Thanks Mike. I think maybe the only MN cities you attended, I stopped by for like 5 minutes. You were playing Andy, and I think it was mirror. You played LuxChomp throughout?

      There was a lot of Gyarados to start the season, but I think I’m the only one around that rode the wave the entire way. Nice work on your CCs! I wouldn’t mind those results at all.

  • Anonymous

    Andy told me the same thing Ed, that you really do sit through and think out your moves even in fun games. This is pretty much the only reason I’m not bitter (believe me if I was bitter you would know). I still don’t feel like we played a legit game. My hand was crap game 1 and I literally passed to you 3 turns before hitting a Copycat to make it a game, game 2 was about the same in reverse, game 3 started with 16 mins on the clock and theres no way to have a legit game in that time. I played Luxchomp all season up to this point so games going to time have never been an issue. But this weekend everybody and their mom slow played me to the point where it was getting stupid. I’m usually not the one to call foul on stuff like this often but, I literally had a situation where I killed his active his bench was Sabyle, Zangoose, Zangoose (all with no energy) and he just sat there and stared at them. I had one oppoenet ask me how much time was left when he was up 2 prizes. You have no idea how much this drove me up a wall. Granted I don’t think all the player were intentionally slow playing me but some of the situation I experienced were outrageious.