Topping Midwest Regionals with Andy Wieman

by Andy Wieman ~ April 20th, 2011.

After a very disappointing run at states (6-1 then losing in Top 8 at MN States, then going 3-3 in NV) I was sure of two things: 1) I would be playing LuxChomp again and 2) I was going to fit Dialga in my list.  Dialga was only a 1-1 tech, but it helped with a tremendous number of matchups.  Some of the matchups that I want Dialga in against are: Mewperior, Donphan, Uxie/Shuppet donk, Charizard, Machamp/Vileplume and Vilegar.  Add all of these plus the fact that I refused to scoop to Mewtwo (as I did in round 6 of MN States to Radu) and Dialga was going to make the cut.  I was debating a few other spots in the deck, but never questioned the deck itself.  I also had one spot built in because I had determined I wasn’t going to run Weavile G (something I would later regret).  The Lostgar threat turned out to be non-existent and I felt Dialga helped the Vilegar matchup more.  The other change to the deck since states that I LOVED was the inclusion of Twins.  It can tilt the mirror single handedly, and is an all around great card.

That's Andy To the Right (next to Mike and across from Pooka and Nick)

The week before the event, I had my list settled except for three slots.  I was questioning my Energy Gain/Power Spray/Junk Arm count.  I currently had it at 4/2/1.  If felt the extra energy gain helped a lot in the mirror, and the Sprays would be less than optimal against Spiritomb and Vileplume decks.  I later switched it to 3/3/1 and felt that the more well-rounded approach would be better, but I would later regret this change.  I was also debating my Bebe’s/Communication count; I was currently at 2/0.  Jay Hornung advocated Communication, but I felt that the chance of prizing the single Bebe’s that I needed to get Dialga G Lvl. X against trainer lock was too much, so I decided to stick with 2/0.  My last question was whether I would cut my 3-1 Uxie line down to fit 1 Chatot.  I felt that the 3rd Uxie helped so much against the possible wave of Machamp that I needed to leave it in.

I get to the tournament a half hour before registration ends, turn in my final list (I switched the Gain/Spray count that morning) and wait a LONG time before the event gets under way.

Round 1 vs. Nick w/Shuppet

I see an Unown R when he is shuffling and I am immediately happy I left the third Uxie in my list in case he is playing Machamp. He could also be playing Uxie or Shuppet donk or possibly Gyarados. I start Luxray with Call Energy and a decent hand. Luckily he wins the coin flip and goes first. He starts Unown R, drops an Unown Q and says go. Turn one I still have no idea what I’m up against so I Cyrus for a Spray (I had another in hand) and Call for two Garchomps. Turn 2 he does a lot of things. I end up spraying two Uxies after I figure out that he is playing Shuppet and he is forced to say go with almost no cards in hand. On my second turn I play Collector, grab Dialga G, and proceed to Deafen. He draws and says go.  I draw, attach an energy and Deafen. At one point he loads up a Crobat with two Rainbow energies and Toxic Fangs my Dialga. I Poketurn, Bright look up a Uxie and Deafen for 30 with an Expert Belt. He senses he can’t win and draw-passes until I take my sixth prize.

1-0

At this point I am very happy I put Dialga in my list after States, and am pretty happy with my deck.

Round 2 vs. Taylor w/Charizard

This game I start Luxray and Garchomp against a Charmander. I go first, attach a DCE and bite for 30. He Bebes right away for Ninetails, uses Rare Candy to evolve a Vulpix and Roast Reveals. He finds another Vulpix and uses Charmander’s attack to search for another Charmander which goes to his hand. Next turn I begin to setup Dialga thinking I will need his Pokebody to help out, and Bite the Charmander for KO.  Because he needs to promote Quilava, he is behind in energy drops for the entire game.  I end up KO’ing two other Charmander’s, and only have to KO one belted Charizard.  The Dialga is never needed as he never takes a prize.  I 6-0 him right as time is called.

2-0

I’m feeling pretty good at 2-0, but virtually every good player is 2-0, so expect my road to get a lot tougher from here.

Round 3 vs. Spencer w/TTar

My next opponent sits down and pulls out an un-sleeved deck, shuffles it once and presents it for a cut.  I try to not underestimate my opponents, but the un-sleeved deck is usually a good indicator of skill level.  I shuffle his deck and we get started.  I start Luxray with a Cyrus so I am feeling pretty good.  He turns over Unown Dark.  I win the roll, attach a DCE and drop a Uxie.  I Bite for 30.  He begins his turn by playing a Collector for Smeargle, Pupitar and Uxie.  He drops the Pupitar and Smeargle and says go.  On my turn I Cyrus for a Collector, SP Radar out a Garchomp, attach DCE to it and Bite for the KO on the Unown Dark.  He promotes Smeargle, Portraits my collector and grabs Crobat, Crobat and another Unown Dark. He then attaches a DCE to Smeargle and Tail Slaps me for 20.  My turn I level up Luxray, Bright Look Pupitar and KO it.  On his turn, he Portraits my Collector again, and grabs Eevee, Eevee and…Eevee.  He drops one of them and Tail Slaps me again for 20.  From this point I realize I have a very easy road ahead of me and proceed to 6-0 him.

3-0

I politely ask this gentleman who on earth he beat in the first two rounds and listen to a few very odd stories.  I know I probably can’t count on him for a good tie-breaker, so I know I need to go 6-1 to get in.

Round 4 vs. Vilegar

I can’t for the life of me remember this guy’s name, but we played last year at Regionals when he was just getting in the game.  He was a good Magic player he said, who had tagged along for the weekend with some friends.  This year he seems much better prepared.  He knows the cards a lot better and appears to know his deck very well.

Once again I open Garchomp to his Spiritomb and Oddish.  I open with Call Energy and Call for Garchomp and Luxray.  I notice at this point that my Dialga G is prized and I will need to fish him out ASAP.  The beginning of the game is pretty standard.  I, use Azelf to fish Dialga out of my prizes, and the same turn use Bebe’s to grab Dialga X waiting for next turn to level him up.  On his turn, he evolves into Gengar giving him a board of Uxie, Gengar, Vileplume and two Spiritombs.  He retreats Spiritomb with Q and uses Lookers Investigation.  He knows I have the Dialga G Lvl X in my hand and tells me to shuffle despite the fact that he only has a one card hand.  He Poltergeists and sees the five cards I have drawn off of Lookers are DCE, Cyrus, Twins, Bebes and Poketurn.  He KO’s my active Garchomp, but is never able to recover from his two card hand.  Next turn I KO his Vileplume and play every trainer in my hand setting up a very nice board.  I avoid Fainting Spell all game with Uxie and I end up taking six prizes to his two.

4-0

After round four we look around and realize that the 4-0’s are all very good players and that the next few rounds are going to be brutal.  I still feel like I need to win two of them to guarantee top cutting since my first three opponents don’t have the best records.

Round 5 vs. Emmanuel w/Magnerock

Emmanuel and I tested the matchup the weekend before and I beat him something like six straight times, so I am feeling pretty good about my chances. I know that he has changed up his deck quite a bit though, putting in more Warp Energy and Seeker to help heal off damage, which could tilt the game in his favor.

I go first and open Luxray to his Spiritomb.  I open with Call Energy and Call for two Garchomps.  He uses collector to get Regirock and two Magnemites.  He attaches to one Magnemite and Darkness Graces the other to Magneton.  On my turn, I have the ability to Bright Look and KO either one (using an Expert Belt to KO the Magneton) so I have an interesting choice.  In my opinion, many Luxchomp players play this matchup wrong.  The attempt to KO the Regirocks and other support Pokemon instead of going right after the attackers.  If they have trouble keeping two energy on the attacking Magnezone, they will have trouble getting consecutive OHKO’s.  I Bright Look the Magnemite with the energy, play some trainers and KO to take the first prize.  During this game, I am able to use Promocroak to KO a belted Magnezone (even with Sunnyshore Gym out) and allow the Poison to kill it avoiding Rescue Energy.  The second Belted Magnezone gets Dragon Rushed two times in a row, and I am able to kill his lone Crobat for my sixth prize late in the game.

5-0

Saving sprays to block the SF Magnezone’s power, as well as having Uxie X in play the whole game can be game-changing in this matchup.  Trade-Off allows you to recover from Judge easier.

Between games we look at the standings and see that there are only four 5-0’s, and all are SP Decks.  I am happy to play in a mirror or two, and hope to avoid Pooka until as late as possible.

Round 6 vs. Radu w/Luxchomp

Radu and I have played a number of times in Cities and States, but never in anything bigger.  We both had seen each other’s lists earlier, so there wouldn’t be any surprises in this game. I can’t do this game any justice because it was a LONG drawn out game that went to the last turn of time, but I will discuss a few situations.

Right off the bat we both have horrible draws.  He draws and passes for two turns.  I start Bronzong with a Call Energy and end up having to manually retreat it with a Q.  On my third turn I am able to setup a Dragonite and take the first prize.  He sends up Dialga, and draw passes again.  On my third turn I hit the Dialga for 80 and am done, still without a supporter.  He finally draws a Cyrus and is able to get rolling.  It takes me a few turns to finally draw a supporter and get rolling as well.

Near the middle of the game Radu does the right thing and calls himself on a gameplay error.  He accidentally discarded his Crobat when he retreated and played a sixth bench Pokemon.  Troy comes over and straightens it out with just a Warning and a Caution given.  I appreciate Radu giving me the respect he did and calling himself on an error that I might never have noticed.

We are tied on prizes when time is called on my turn, so I am turn zero.  We have both been through the Garchomp/Dragonite war with no clear winner.  I don’t remember what exactly happened, although I do remember we both misplayed during our last turns.  My misplay involved grabbing the wrong trainer with Junk Arm, and his involved not attaching an energy on a turn that would’ve won him the game.  I end up taking a prize on my last turn and leave Radu in with not enough energy on the table to return KO.  Great game.  Wish I could remember the details.

6-0

I now know that Pooka is the other 6-0.  I have guaranteed that I top cut, but I really need this win.  If I can somehow manage to go 10-1 or close to it I might be able to secure my worlds invite, which has been a goal all year.  Because I am unable to play at Nationals this is my last chance to boost my rating (yeah, I know we still have BR’s, but it is really tough to build points during BR’s)

Round 7 vs. Pooka w/Dialgachomp

Pooka and I have a bit of history from last year.  He has won every top-cut match that we have ever played (Top 8 WI States and Top 128 Nationals), and I won the only time we ever played in Swiss (Regionals 2010).  Every time he has played Dialga.  I could probably name his list within 4 cards so I thought I might have a fighting chance here.

I go into this game knowing that he uses Drifblim very well, so I need to keep Azelf off my field to avoid a late game prize.  I start Bronzong with a Call Energy and call to start the game.  I realize quickly that my prizes are crazy good.  He begins by Deafening in order to keep me from Poketurning my Bronzong.  Next turn I fight a Time Walk through which lets me find my six prizes of: 2 Garchomp, 2 Uxie, Dragonite and Garchomp C X. I grab the Dragonite which gives me a chance to take some prizes.  However, he gets out to an early lead by KO’ing the Bronzong which allows me to Twins for two DCE.  The two DCE give me a huge edge during the middle part of this game.  I do everything I can to keep up the pressure, but Snowpoint Temple really takes some of the aggressiveness out of Luxchomp.  Time is called at 1-1 in prizes.  I set it up so I can take a prize by Bright Looking his Dragonite and Mach Blowing it.  He sees it coming though and Poketurns the Dragonite the turn before I can pull it off.  I make a mistake by playing a useless Garchomp on the bench.  If I hadn’t I’d have been able to Bright Look a turn sooner and maybe pull off the win.  Instead, Pooka plays Drifblim, replaces Snowpoint Temple, Flashbite’s my Uxie X Twice (I sprayed the first) and shoots it on the bench for the win.

6-1

I am disheartened by the loss, but it was a very close game and I had to stay focused because I would probably have to face him again.  I go into the Top Cut as the 4th seed.  I found out I would be facing Zach Wittenkeller.

Top 16 vs. Zach W w/Vilegar

Game 1

I absolutely stomp him in this game.  I am able to Trash Bolt for 3 Prizes in the beginning of the game because he needed to keep setting up Spiritombs.  Because of his slow start I am quickly able to pick up six prizes.

6-1 (7-1)

Game 2

This is essentially the opposite of game one.  I get stuck with a hand of all trainers and it takes me a long time to get Dialga G Lvl X setup.  I finally rid my hand of all of my trainers but by that time he has enough easy targets on my bench to win this one easily.

6-1 (7-2)

Game 3

This is a much more evenly matched game, but time is short so we know we won’t get a full game in.  He tries to get Vileplume setup which may have been a mistake with a short game.  I am however able to KO the Gloom and get ahead on prizes.  Time is called on his turn when we are tied on prizes.  On my last turn before time was called I had dragged up a Haunter and hit it for 60, leaving it with 10 damage left.  He makes a bad mistake on his turn.  Instead of retreating to Spiritomb and Darkness Gracing into Gengar he uses the attack which puts me to sleep.  I hit the roll to wake up (I had a Poketurn anyways), drop a Crobat to KO the Haunter, and Dragon Rush for a two prize lead.  He is unable to even up the prizes on his turn and I move on.

7-1 (8-2)

Top 8 vs. Emmanuel w/Magnerock

Game 1

Game one plays out almost exactly like our Swiss game.  Second turn I KO a Magnemite with an energy and am able to KO two belted Magnezones and pick up a relatively easy six prizes.  Admittedly I drew VERY well off of a mid game Judge as well.

7-1 (9-2)

Game 2

This game goes very much the same as the first two for the first portion of the game.  We are tied at 3 prizes each.  On my turn I Dragon Rush his belted Magnezone and he KO’s my Garchomp.  On my turn I have Promocroak all set up to kill the Magnezone with Poison, avoiding the Rescue Energy, but I am 10 damage short (He had Sunnyshore Gym in play).  I have tons of ways to get Crobat in my deck, but Trade-Off and Set Up for 4 and miss them all.  This allows him to Warp Energy and Seeker his damaged Zone and take his last prizes shortly after.

7-1 (9-3)

Game 3

I know that we will not have time to play a full game, but I am not sure how much time we will have.  For the first time against me Emmanuel does not start Spiritomb.  I start Uxie with Call Energy and choose to go first with Uxie Level X in my hand.  I call for Luxray and Garchomp, and level up next turn to start drawing cards.  However, my hand is awful and at one point my bench is filled with 3 Uxies and an Azelf.  Time is called on my turn with the score tied 2-1.  I Dragon Rush for 80.  Emmanuel ties it up on his turn by belting and KO’s my Garchomp.  On my turn I find enough damage to KO the Magnezone with Zen Blade to go up two prizes with one turn left.  Emmanuel is unable to take two prizes and I advance after a close match.

8-1 (10-3)

Top-4: Pooka Vs. Andy, Quinn Vs. Ross

Top 4 vs. Pooka

I am fairly drained at this point after two matches that went the full hour.  Pooka on the other hand has run through two quick matches, the last of which was against Luxchomp.  At this point I am playing for a ton: Guaranteed $1000 scholarship (which I would spend on an iPad), Paid trip to Nationals (which I couldn’t use, but would be cool to have anyways).  But my major focus at this point in time is my worlds invite.  I started the event at 1732 and knew that I would need 10 wins to get to the magic 1850 range.  Winning this game would give me that chance.

Game 1

At this point in the night my memories are a bit fuzzy.  Early game Pooka is forced to Mimic once, but he is able to get mostly setup.  He attaches an energy on a benched Garchomp possibly preparing to start the Garchomp war.  On my turn I drop a Garchomp on my bench and attach a DCE (my only energy at this point) and put an Expert Belt on it to make sure it is out of Dragon Rush range (I had Sprays to protect against Flashbites) and continue to setup my bench.  Pooka uses Twins twice in a row (VS Seeker) and is able to get fully setup, including getting Snowpoint Temple into play again.  This puts all of his Pixies out of OHKO range on the bench, and makes it tough to even KO his Chatot.  I am forced to overextend to take a lot of prizes before he can begin tanking a Dialga.  I take a 4-3 lead when I use my belted Garchomp C Lvl X to Earthquake a Dragonite.  I do this knowing that Pooka needs quite a few cards to return the KO (which he ends up having) and he is able to completely take control of this game.

8-1 (10-4)

Game 2

I probably should’ve scooped earlier in game one to preserve some time for game 2, but I am ever the optimist and thought I could pull it out.  I go into game 2 knowing I need to take four quick prizes, but Pooka begins by Deafening and I know that I can’t win.  He is able to slow down my setup until time is called and I am only able to take two prizes.

8-2 (10-5)

Pooka played awesome in all three games, and I can say that I lost to the better player.  I had great testing results against Dialga, but the way he is able to play it made the matchup much different.

So I finish third, and hear later on that Pooka ends up losing to Ross Cawthon (another very worthy winner).  This is the second time I had a great finish at this tournament (4th two years ago) but would love to get over the hump one of these times.  I ended up very happy with my deck choice, and mostly happy with my card choices.  I would change 1 or 2 things if I had to play again tomorrow, but would have no problem playing my list again.  This also means my season is most likely over.  I don’t think I can get enough points during Battle Roads to get me over the hump, and I won’t be able to attend Nationals.

Thanks for reading this long.  Let me know if you have any questions and I’m sorry if I screwed any details up.

Category: Regional Championships | Tags: ,
  • Ed

    Great writeup, Andy. Thanks for the report. Starting out easy and getting tougher matchups all day is how it’s supposed to go. I guess I did it backwards.

    Sorry about that first pic of you. You knew I was taking it, so it’s your own fault. If you’ve got a better one, I’d put that up. Maybe Sheryl (or maybe it’s spelled Cheryl like my mom’s name) has some good pics. I know she had her camera during your top 4. If you can acquire better/more pics, I’m happy to post them.

    • Anonymous

      Aww, cmon, just delete the picture. Seriously.

      • Ed

        Really? I thought it had some humor value. Like he’s kinda looking down on the rest of us, but we’re too boring for him to even wake up and open his eyes.

        • Ed

          Fine. I took the pic down. I put RH Luxray back up there. It’s what I originally intended to be there, but I couldn’t help myself with the closed-eye pic. Maybe I’m a bad man.

  • Andy, one thing quick:

    In your 7th round against Pooka, he actually beat you a different way:
    You had Luxray active. He used Flash Bite, you sprayed. He turned, did it again. His dialga had 2 special metals, a belt, and a double. He dropped Dragonite, attached double, Galactic Switched, turned Dialga, attached belt to Dragonite, replaced Snowpoint with contest hall, retreated and killed your 100 HP Luxray with Dragonite. And I quote:
    “Jesus Pooka, never thought you woulda beat me this way…”

    And thats how it happened :P

  • Nice write up Andy, one thing though on your game 3 against T-tar he probably collectored for a Larvitar and now a Pupitar since he wouldn’t be able to grab and play on the bench a Pupitar.

  • Nice job Andy, glad we played dialga since I got paired up with 3 Vilegar lol. Its Cheryl btw.

  • Anonymous

    Sigh. Good times.