Pikkdogs Day 1 U.S. Nationals Report

by Pikkdogs ~ June 29th, 2012.

A big hello to all you OHKOers out there.  This is Pikkdogs with a U.S. Nationals report. I will try to paint the picture of the whole event, instead of just giving you a basic report.  On a personal level I did not do a lot of testing for Nationals, so I was not expecting to do well.   I just wanted to go along for the ride and take pictures and stuff to pass on to you guys.  So without further adieu, let us take a look at my report.

An Overview of Nats.

The Convention Center

The Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis was again the site of U.S. Nationals.  If you were at Nats last year, you pretty much know what the decor is.  All of the decorations that we saw last year were back this year.  Maybe a couple of the banners were different, but for the most part the convention center was laid out and decorated the same.  If you don’t know how it was, I will give you a little description.  Most of the events of Nationals happened in  a large ball room type thing.  Small rooms were also rented out across the hall from the Ball Room.  There are a couple rooms dedicated to casual play, and a couple rooms where Troll and Toad and Collector’s Cache have set up stores.  The hallway is where a lot of people hang out, and where some registration lines are.  The ball room is very big. When you first walk in you see the Video Game competition on your right, and then the Junior TCG players on the left.  The left side continues to hold all the TCG players.  On the right side the VGC players give way to an information desk and a couple computers where you can play the game online.  After that is the league area where you can get some trading done, play in league matches, or play in the side events.  Scattered across the ballroom are things like Reshiram Statues, Tepigs in costumes, and different kinds of Pokemon banners.

Overall, the convention center is  a really cool place for an event like this.   It is very big and has a lot of places to grab lunch right next to it.  Its central location in the U.S. also helps draw in a lot of players.  There were about 1500 players in this event, that is the most ever!  Gotta love that.

About Indiana and Other Stuff

Even though the location for Nationals was pretty cool overall, the weather was not.  The official high for Thursday was 104, and it was pretty much the same for the rest of the weekend.  This made it difficult to go anywhere that was not air conditioned.

Things were hot outside, but even hotter were the judges and all the staff.  Big ups to everybody who had a hand in making the tournament run as well as it did.  I got a little flack last year for calling the judges and staff out for the very long delays that we had.  The delays last year were terrible, first we had a repairing during 1st round that cost us about an hour.  Then we had multiple very long waits between rounds.  While there were longer than expected waits between rounds, they were not even near as long as last year.  There were also no re-pairings or hold-ups after pairings were announced.  A big thanks should go to the judges because they did so well.

Decks Being Played

It is very hard to see what is doing well and what everyone is playing, but so far it seems that a lot of people are playing Metadecks.  There are a ton of Darkrai decks, some Terrakion, and some Mew Lock.  Darkrai seemed to be the most popular Pokemon of the day.  There were a lot of variants, but I would say that the most popular variants were ones with Tornadus EX and not a lot of energy removers.  Trainerlock was also a big thing on day 1.  I didn’t play any personally, but there sure were more than I would have thought a couple months ago.  Most of these decks were just Mewlock Variants, so nothing special.

Overall, deck selection at Nationals was fairly boring.  There were a lot of Eel decks, Darkrai, Mewtwo, and Terrakion.  Basically all of the decks that have been meta for the last couple months, so nothing really exciting in that front so far.  Maybe on days 2 and 3 we will see some more exciting decks doing well.

I was kind of disappointed by this because last year we had Reshiphlosion come out of nowhere and be a very very popular deck.  We didn’t see anything really close to this in 2012 so far.  So far, all is going as expected.

My Nationals

Day 0

My nationals trip started out at Noon on Thursday.  I had to work a couple hours in the morning, but then I was able to take 5 hours off and get an early start  to my summer vacation.  One very bad thing about my 5 hour drive down to Indy was that my A/C ran out of juice about an hour into the trip.  This meant that I had to spend the next 4 hours roasting in the car, that was no fun.  But, once I got to Indy things started getting better.  I got into the convention center at about 5:30 and got registered early.  Then I went over to the Troll and Toad shop to sell some old commons for a little bit of cash.  After making my hotel-mates James and Frank wait for like a half an hour, I finally got my money and was able to go to the hotel.  We had a cheap hotel by the airport, but it was actually one of the best cheap hotels I ever have stayed in.  I expected filth and broken things, but this place felt like a moderately good hotel.   I know that I have spent 30 bucks more on hotel rooms than this and still didn’t get a room this nice, so big ups to La Quinta.  After we checked in James and Frank wanted to head back to Indy to get some more play testing done.  I should have gone with them to improve my deck, but I was really tired so I went over to Hardees and got a burger before turning in early.

Day 1

I woke up feeling very nice since I just had a good sleep.  Once I got woken up I went down stairs and found some waffles and bagels for breakfast.  Really good breakfast, it wasn’t the biscuits and gravy of last year’s nationals, but it was pretty close.  After eating lots of food Frank and I traveled downtown to get ready for round 1.  I got to see a lot of cool people before round 1, and was happy to get to chat with a lot of people during the day.  Talking with Adam from Sixprizes was a highlight of the day, I love you man.  I also got to see the war dance of Team Warp Point and Team Hovercats.  I have included the video of this below.  After a short players meeting and a short wait after, we were ready for round 1.  I played Quad Entei, if you wanna see my list, you can look at a very very similar one here.

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Round 1 vs Dallon F. with CMT (Maybe)

Dallon was a cool guy that I had never met before, he seemed like a real nice guy.  I start the game by mulliganing three times and starting 2nd, giving your opponent 3 extra cards never helps.  He starts first and flips over a Mewtwo, which is one of the cards that can kill my deck.  He uses a Smeargle for an N and a supporter and ends up attacking the 40.  I N us again and I have more than enough energy and supporters, but I never see an Eviolite.  I also never see a Professor Juniper, PONT is great but if you never see a Juniper losing that extra card each time will eventually catch up with you.  That is what happens in this match-up, I started good but not having the Eviolite, a Juniper, or heads on my Life Herb flips eventually did me in.  The game ends when I can’t get rid of damage counters on my active and he uses a Seeker to end the game.

0-1 – Not mad, Dallon was a cool guy and I didn’t expect to win.  So congrats Dallon, hope you will continue to do well the rest of the weekend.

Round 2 vs CMT vs Rob from New Jersey with Dakrai/Tornadus


This round was against another guy that was very nice.  Before our match he offered me some candy and a Squirtle sticker, which I gave to my buddy James to finish off his collection.  Anybody who gives me candy is good in my book.  This game was a pretty good one.

He starts and flips a Darkrai, which is a good match-up for me.  He ends up using Dual Ball for two Smeargles and ends up using my N like 3-4 times in the first 2 turns.  After our Ning was done, we started trading shots.  He had energy on Darkrai EX and started hitting and spreading.  I was able to heal most of the damage and I am able to get at least one good hit on everything on his field.  The problem was that I wasted my Pokemon Catchers early and did not have the ability to bring them up and actually take prizes.  Right when time is about to be called my opponent has finally ran out of bench space and has to give up prizes.  So, he decides to scoop and I get my first win

 

1-1-  Good game, thanks man. Time for lunch.  I walked over to the mall and hit the food court.  I saw a Chick-Fil-A so I decided to go there and have my first go at this fast food restaurant.  It had some pretty good chicken, but I couldn’t stay there for too long since pairings would soon be up.

Round 3 vs Jackson I. from Ohio and Darkrai/Tornadus/Mewtwo

What’s with my opponent’s and the double thumbs up?

I go all this way to play Jack, who lives about 40 miles from me!  It kind of hurt to play Jack in round 3.  On one hand of course I wanted to win, but on the other I knew that Jack had a much better chance to Top then I did.  I almost thought of scooping, but then I decided to play it out.

Jack starts first with Shaymin and is not able to do much on the first turn.  I had a pretty bad start.  I didn’t have the energies I needed, and I had to use Juniper with a lot of valuable healing trainers in my hand.  I was forced to burn resources for no reason, and that hurt me later.  Jack decides to try Mewtwo EX against me and gets two of them and uses Eviolite on both of them.  This makes it very hard for me to OHKO them.  He doesn’t do a lot of damage, but I run into trouble when I get two tails on Life Herb flips.  No matter how many Junipers I used and resources I burned I could not find a second Entei to keep me in the game, so Jack takes care of my Entei and wins.

1-2– No shame in losing to a great player like Jack.  I just wished that I could have given him  a better game with a better hand.

Round 4 vs guy from Milwaukee with CMT

This is another CMT, man this sucks.  We start the game by talking about weird mascots, and it turns out that he has been to my hometown area  a couple times.  But, the talking time is over and the playing time is here.  I finally get to start first and get a good string of supporters going which gives me everything I need.  He is forced to Juniper a lot of resources away early to keep up with my speed.  He did make up some time when I was forced to use a Max Potion before I was ready, he used Pokemon Catcher well to slow me down.  I get the first Knockout with a Catcher Kill on a Celebi Prime, this lack of energy acceleration ends up hurting him later.  Without energy acceleration and enough Eviolite early enough, his Mewtwos were not able to control the board like they normally do.  He is forced to use Tornadus EX, which is never good against my deck.  I do have a hard time getting 6 prizes and ending up winning the game 3-6 on prizes after turn 3 was over.

2-2 Is not bad.  I was only hoping for about a 500 record, so no matter what happens, I should be almost on my way.

Round 5 vs guy from Chicago with Darkrai/Tornadus/Mewtwo EX

My round 5 opponent

I forgot to take notes on this match so my report for this game will not be very detailed.  This was another game that showed off how good Mewtwo is, and how okay the other two Pokemon are.  We start the game trading damage, I would be okay but I miss a ton of flips on Life Herb and have to give up an Entei.  I am able to recover, but he hits a crucial heads on burn to keep his Darkrai up for a long time.  I keep on holding my own against Darkrais, but he finally draws into a Mewtwo and a Shaymin.  After several Dark Patches he was able to get one boat load of energies on Mewtwo, and I just scoop.

2-3 – Not a great record, but it is what I expected.  I was just happy to be there and enjoy the day. Below is a video of my pictures from both day 1 and day 2.

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The Afterparty

After a quick trip back to the hotel to get started on this article, the time I have been waiting for had finally arrived, the 2012 After Party.  This is the Good Luck Varsity concert that I had been talking about for a long time.  I got there when things were still setting up and I got to talk more with my buddy Adam from 6P.  It was funny, at one moment we were talking about Ed and my nipple started shaking.  Now my nipple normally shakes when I’m taking to Adam, but this time it was shaking because my phone in my shirt pocket was ringing, and it was Ed calling me.  That was a good coincidence.

Wasim on drums with PK Fire with the Onehitko shirt on.

PK fire was first on stage.  They did a good job considering they were missing some of their band members.  Good Luck Varsity drummer Wasim B.  joined them onstage wearing a Onehitko T-shirt!  They did a fine job and led the way for the next act, Rival Summers.  They did a little more artsy take on Rock and Roll and started to bring the tempo up.  Then all hell started to turn loose when GLV hit the stage and sang their newest single “Lakes”.  The moshing started and didn’t stop for about 45 minutes.  At one time my buddy Frank had lost his trademark stuffed Snake that he wears as a scarf, I tried to get it but was promptly elbowed in the ribs by someone, oh well.  GLV absolutely killed it, I never yelled so hard before without making so little sound, man it was loud.  When they closed the show with “Liars and Thieves” I think the world seemed to stand still.  Awesome show guys,  if the show goes on again next year, I expect to see a lot more people there.

Conclusion

I had a great day on day one.  I will try to do a day 2 report too, so come back tomorrow for that.  This day was great because it was full of Pokemon, music, and friends.  There were so many cool people that I talked to today, so thanks everyone and sorry that I can’t mention all of them.   I had a great time and I am looking for a good day 2 as well.

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