Recapping Pokemon TCG Worlds 2011

by Pikkdogs ~ August 15th, 2011.

A big hello to all you OHKOers out there. This is Pikkdogs here with a recap of worlds.

Before we start with what happened at worlds, lets take a look back at last week. Last week was the first ever guest writer week. We saw 6 writers give us some great articles. I feel that we got a lot of cool different information last week, and it was generally a great thing for the site. We would like to thank all of our writers that were in action last week, you all did a great job. Hopefully in the future you will be able to drop by and give us another article. Ed and I would also like to ask all of our readers to tell us what you thought about Guest Writer week. Please tell us if you think it was a good thing for the site by placing your thoughts in the comment box.

Last Chance Qualifier-Day 1

World’s weekend started off Friday night with the Last Chance Qualifier. The LCQ (known as the grinder) was full of a lot of players vying for just 16 spots at the main event.  There were no swiss rounds, instead there was a single elimination tournament with each match being decided by a best of three series.  The first round was kind of similar to a play in round, as a lot of the participants had a bye.  They were just trying to narrow the field down to the right number before the real tournament began.  These were the individuals who survived the Masters event:

Alan Kang
Andrew Occiano
Brandon Jones
Dan Richard
Elton Keung
Gabriel Arriola
Glenn Velazquez
Jackson Iler
Joshua Aaron
Kevin Kobayashi
Mike Schaefer
Milla Rantanen
Ricardo Garcia
Spencer Brown
Tsuguyoshi Yamato
Tyler Shelde

No real big American names managed to grind in.  Dan Richard from Michigan and Jackson Iller from Ohio did grind in, but if you don’t live near where I do this won’t be too exciting for you. As expected, the most played decks were the quick, disruptive, and hard hitting Primetime; and the durable Reshiphlosion.

The Last Chance Qualifier was good for fans of the U.S.  Grinders left the U.S. with the majority of participants and left traditional powerhouse Japan with only a hand-full of players.  Mexico, Great Britian, France, Canada, Argentina, Australia, and Finland also had a decent number of players.

The Main Event-Day 2

Saturday’s event started with just over 120 players in the Masters division.  The judges decided that the field will narrow itself to the top 16 in 7 rounds.  The field consisted of some familiar faces, and a lot of players that most people haven’t heard of.  Some of the bigger names were Jay H., Pooka, Jwittz, Con Le, and Chris Fulop.  The stage was set for some awesome  action on Saturday.  The day ended with a match between Sami Sekkoum of the U.K. and Jwittz of Illinois.  Sami was able to narrowly defeat the Youtube Sensation, but each player was happy because they each were able to get the top spot in their respective bracket.

The swiss rounds continued for 7 rounds and the top 16 players were taken to the next day.  According to Pokegym, here are the top 16 with their respective decks:

Sami Sekkoum (GB) Yanmega/Magnezone 
Dylan Bryan (US)
Luke Reed (US) Reshiram/Typhlosion
Josh Wittenkeller (US) Yanmega/Magnezone
Tom Dolezal (US) Reshiram/Typhlosion
Jeremy Jallen (US) Reshiram/Typhlosion
David Meulenbroeks (NL) Reshiram/Typhlosion
Lorenzo Voltolina (IT) Magnezone/Emboar
Filipp Lausch (AT) Yanmega/Magnezone
David Cohen (US) Magnezone/Emboar
Mitchel Silva (US) Reshiram/Typhlosion
Jay Hornung (US)
Miska Saari (FI) Reshiram/Typhlosion
Josue Palomino (MX) Reshiram/Typhlosion
Dylan Lefavour (US)
Ross Cawthon (US) Vileplume, Reuniclus, Blissey, and Dragons

The first thing I see when I look at this list is the good showing that the U.S. had.  Sure some European players snuck in, but the field featured 10 Americans.

The second thing I noticed is, what the heck was Ross Cawthon playing?  I knew Vileplume was going to be a good play, and I always liked the “Outrage” attacks of Reshiram and Zekrom.  But, I still don’t know exactly how it worked.  I hear that he also played Entei/Suicine Legend.  I assume that he tried to start with Donphan and putting damage counters on the dragons.  ESL was there for countering Typhlosion, and Blissey and Reuniclus were there to move damage counters around to power up the attack of the dragon’s.  Jwittz also has said that Cawhton also has played Pichu and Tropical Beach, two cards that are not that bad, but not thought of as that good.  It should be something to look for once we get more news more San Diego.

We have seen a lot of Reshiphlosions at the tournament.  Of the 13 decks we know about, 7 of them were Reshiphlosions.  That is an amazing number, it shows that the deck is crazy good and consistent.  I think we will see this deck doing good even in the Post-Catcher era.  Primetime also saw 3 decks in the top 16.  That deck is still versatile and disruptive.  I think that is another deck that we could be seeing around.  It also seems that Pokemon Reversal saw a lot of play.  Most of the reports that I have seen so far indicate that a lot of the decks have a large number of Pokemon Reversals.

One weird news story that came out of this day was in the last round of swiss with the game between Ross Cawthon and Chris Fulop.  Word from the Sixprizes forum is that in exchange for some of Ross’s prizes, Fulop scooped to Ross and let him go on to the top 16.  This is a very significant development because of how far Ross went in the tournament the next day.  I don’t think that scooping to a player that might be inferior is the wrong thing to do, it can be good in some places like if you are playing a friend or a team member.   But, I can understand if some people are disappointed with this news, because who knows if Ross would have won if the game was actually played.  This could have change the complexion of the rest of the tournament.  I like Chris Fulop, but with Nationals and now Worlds, it seems that he can’t seem to stay out of controversy.  If the news is indeed true, I have not spoke to either of the players to confirm it.

Day 3- The Top 16.

Well, Saturday left us with 16 players left, including famous players like Jay H. and Jwittz.  When Sunday rolled around we were all hoping that they would do well and go as far as they could.  On saturday night I looked at the top 16 bracket and picked the top 4 as: Cawthon, Jwittz, Palomino, and Cohen.  Little did I know that I was not too far off.

Sunday started off with wins by Cawthon’s weird deck, the Italian named Volotina, Tom Dolezal, Jwittz, Palomino, Jeremy Jallen, Dylan Lefavor, and David Cohen.  This left us with 2 Magneboars, Ross’s weird deck, 3 Reshiphlosions, and Jwittz’s Primetime. And then there were 8.

The round of 8 saw the loss of favorites J.Wittz and Dylan Lefavor; Jay. H had lost the round before. Tom Dolezal and his Reshiphlosion defeated JWittz in 3 games, while Ross Cawthon’s weird deck defeated the last remaining Italian player.  On the other side of the bracket, Josue Palomino beat Jeremy Jallen in the battle of the Reshiphlosions.  And David Cohen and his Magneboar grabbed the last ticket to the final four by defeating Dylan LeFavor.  This left us with the final four, and 3 American’s still alive.  The other final four member was a native of Mexico, making it an all North American final four.  I’m not sure if that has ever happened before. 

The final four saw the end of the Reshiphlosion run.  Cawthon and his weird rogue deck kept on going by beating out Tom D’s Reshiphlosion. And in the other side of the bracket, Cohen and Magneboar were able to outlast the last Reshiphlosion.  This left the field with 2 Americans, ensuring that the world championship title will be brought back to the U.S.  The big story here is Cawthon advancing to the top 2 of worlds with a hodpoge deck of Blissey, ESL, the Dragons, Reuniclus, and Donphan.  He must have found a way to make such a scattered deck to be consistent.  It almost seemed to work like a tool box, having an answer to ever kind of deck.

This left only the finals to play out.  Only one person will be able to call themselves a World champ.  Both Cawthon and Cohen have experience being the worlds final, both of them had been in the finals in the Senior and Junior divisions, and now they are back but this time at the big stage.   In the first game, Cawthon got an early Pichu which Cohen was able to knock out.  I am not sure exactly how this game played out, but it seems like Cohen had the advantage the entire game. In the second game Cawthon got setup early with a full bench including Vileplume.  He used his great setup to take the first prize, and was able to respond after Cohen took his first prize.  Cawthon then was able to get an SEL out and was able to knock out what I think was a Reshiram (but it could have been something else).  After the knock out Cohen scooped to conserve time.  As they were setting up for game 3 time was called setting up for sudden death for a worlds championship.  At this point, both decks seem to be pretty slow so no deck seems to have the advantage.  In the last game Cawthon started with Phanpy and Zekrom, while Cohen started 1st.  Cohen ends the game and wins the championship by getting a good top deck to get a turn 2 Magnezone.  He then was able to “Lost Burn” for 100 and the World Championship.

One thing we learned is that Rogue decks are not dead.  Cawthon came out playing things like Pichu, Reuniclus, and Blissey Prime; and see somehow came out with a great tournament.  It’s always nice to see a rogue deck do well, with a format with not  a lot of sets in the format, its great to see something rogue doing well.  We also learned that Magneboar is not dead. This deck also played Reshiram along with Magnezone.

In the next couple days make sure to keep on checking this site as well as for worlds footage and news.

So long and thanks for all the fish!

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