Midwest Regional Championships Report: From Hero To Zero

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Well, I don’t really think I was ever a “hero” but it sounded good in the title. Maybe a better title would have been “Riches to Rags,” but it’s already up there. My previous installment saw me winning the Minnesota state tourney, so that’s what I’m talking about with “Hero” or “Riches.” The “Zero” and “Rags” will be discussed below.

Radu Vs. Andy



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Gyarados ReRocks Minnesota State Championships (1st Place)

Monday, March 14th, 2011

I got back into the game a bit over a year ago, because I thought it would be something that my daughter, Ava, would be into. We started during Cities last season, which didn’t go so hot. By the time States preparation rolled around, though, I knew I needed a new deck, and I chose Gyarados based on several factors. After making that choice, I started looking for the right combination of cards for the meta, and that’s how I got in contact with Austino.

At the time, Team Omar was meeting almost weekly, so I got plenty of practice and experience against multiple decks. With Austino‘s deck help and Team Omar’s playtesting help, I was able to ride Gyarados to 5th place after Swiss in the 2010 MN State Championship. I then dropped before top cut, but it was a decision that I always wondered about. Should I have canceled my other plans? Should I have stayed and played. I felt like my top-8 matchup was favorable, and I think I could have made top4.

This season saw Omar depart the state and with him went the regular playtesting sessions. I hung onto Gyarados and still kept in contact with Austino, but I started playing much less Pokemon. Andy (the reigning State Champion) and I got together to try to get a regular playtesting thing going. It worked well, but as time went on the regular turned into irregular and seemed to fall apart completely in the month leading up to States.

I had thought of switching to a new deck. I had planned on making a new deck for Ava. I had even considered rebuilding Gyarados for Ava and coming up with something completely new for myself. With my hobbytime focus diverted to other things for a while, none of this happened. I decided that I would once again lean on my old pals Magikarp and Gyarados to get me through. I’m a big believer in playing what you’re comfortable with, and this tale just further solidifies my stance, but we’ll get more into that as things unfold.

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

Tuesday, 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 …

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Like Jerry Seinfeld, Pikkdogs is Even Steven, Rochester Hills Cities Report

Saturday, December 11th, 2010

My fellow Seinfeld fans will appreciate the reference to the episode where Jerry continually loses things and then gains things back again.  This is how I felt today at the Rochester Hills City Championships. No matter how hard I fight to break away from the crutches of mediocrity, it pulled me back in, but then I was reminded that it wasn’t that bad.                            Austino's Gyarados

The story of the 2010 Rochester Hills Michigan City Championship begins on Friday afternoon.  I got back from my jog and fired up the computer.  I got a message from Derek, our tournament organizer, saying that he expects a record draw to the next cities and reccomends that we all show up early.  I decided to pass that info on to my buddy Jona, and hope to make it there when registration starts, at 11.  I end up making it by 11:10, the parking lot was full, but I was able to register.  At about 11:20, they begin turning people away, because the fire code only lets 70 people in the building.  This left several players, including last years state champion, away from the tournament.  When I saw this I thought I might have a better shot …

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Second Best or First Loser? Gyarados vs. Luxray

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

Austino's GyaradosThis past Saturday (12-04-10), I went up to The Source to play in their city championships. 25 masters showed up, giving us 5 rounds of Swiss with a cut to top 4. I brought Gyarados with me, but I left my sick daughter, Ava, at home. Hopefully she can join me this weekend.

Fire ArceusRound 1) Justin K. with Lefeon/Flareon/Arceus
I don’t know why, but I’ve played Justin in just about every tourney we’ve both participated in. Heck, I even got matched against him at regionals. Well, at least he’s used to playing against me. He started with a fire Arceus on his bench. I think I Regimoved it active, and he ended up belting it. I used the 2X water weakness to my advantage and went up 2-0 in prizes. After that, he couldn’t recover.
1-0

Machamp PrimeRound 2) Emmanuel D. with Machamp SF/Prime and Kingdra Prime
I’ve played against this deck before. You might think it’s heavily weighted in my favor, but it’s not that bad for him. What is bad is prizing like all his primes and 2 Bebe’s. I am pretty sure he used Seeker to use Azelf’s Time Walk 3 times. In theory, he should be able to set up Machamp Prime and Kingdra Prime to get OHKOs on Gyarados (which is impressive, because Gyarados is resistant). In practice, it didn’t work out for him. He was on the ropes the entire game. I think this was his only loss in Swiss.
2-0

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PokemanDan’s PokeClass Episode 7 – Gyarados, The Comeback!

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Ed’s Note: This is Team Omar’s 100th article! Try to imagine 100 balloons dropping from your ceiling and people blowing silly noisemakers as you read this. Anyway, I wanted to point that out and say THANKS to all you guys who read our ramblings. Well, without further ado, I’ll let you get back to your regularly scheduled PokeClass, and we’ll start working on our next 100!



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Deck Analysis: Gyarados (1st Place BR report included)

Monday, October 4th, 2010

Austino's GyaradosYes, the angry dragon/eel/fish is STILL here and kickin’ (or splashing, rather)! Over the past few weeks of going through old tournament reports and decklists, I remembered how well Gyarados has treated me every time I’ve played it. However, I had a small issue with the deck concerning the recent rotation. The exclusion of Claydol (GE), Night Maintenance, and Felicity’s Drawing were something of a hindrance to the efficiency of the deck. Sure, there are cards like Uxie and Volkner’s Philosophy that could fill in, but would it work? Some….no, MANY have completely written of Gyarados until Junk Arm and Rescue Energy are released. While I agreed with the assumptions that the deck won’t work without Felicity’s/Claydol for a while, I quickly found that the deck can not only still fully function without them, but THRIVES in a format with trainer lock where using supporters is required as well as a pokemon that can FISH (har har, puns) them out of your deck.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “What are you going to do against Vileplume, scrub? Good luck winning when you can’t play SSU, Communications, Poketurns, and most importantly, your rescues, which Gyarados hinges on.” This is a very valid argument for not running the deck, but the key to victory lies in Dialga G Lv. X. Yeah, DGX as some call it gives Gyarados the edge it needs in a meta full of trainer locks whether it’s from Spiritombs or Vileplumes. I initially thought Floatzel GL Lv. X was a more solid play, not requiring me to run recovery cards, but G’dos is also about NOT being KO’d (thanks to super scoop ups), and another pokemon with Lightning weakness is no fun. When you combine the 1-1 DGX along with 3 warp energy, you can get it out relatively quickly and continue your beatdown on some of the most played decks in the format right now. While it doesn’t help the SP matchup in the slightest, you should be able to do well against them anyway, considering you OHKO them while they are typically forced to take cheap prizes around gyarados as well as the occasional Trash Bolt/Lucario OHKO. The SP matchup hasn’t really changed as much post rotation, I’d put it at an even 50-50 because so much of the matchup depends on who can keep up the stream of KO’s as well as the use of Expert Belt on G’dos’ side of the field. Regimove also plays a huge factor, allowing Gyarados to take a prize nearly every turn, barring Power Sprays.

I was also asked to discuss the relevance and efficiency of Volkner’s Philosophy as a Felicity’s Drawing substitute. Yes, Volkner is a moody guy, nowhere nearly as cheerful as Felicity, and he makes it clear that he doesn’t care that you can only discard one Magikarp with his “Philosophy”. Aside from the 1 card discard, Volkner’s can do wonders for the deck. Judge is a commonly played card right now, and getting rid of G’dos’ large hand for a measly 4 can suck, especially when holding onto those recovery cards you need. Volkner’s can not only get rid of a trash card from your hand, but also let you keep the good cards while drawing until you have 6, which is pretty good for not having claydol. The other reason it still works is because you need 3 magikarp in the discard. Regice can take care of 2 while Volkner’s drops the 3rd, still getting the same amount of discard *required* to set up, but not necessarily drawing as many cards mid-late game as Felicity’s would.

One last note before posting the list is the importance of Warp Energy. Between Bright Looks, Luring Flames, Sleep Inducers (Froslass GL), Reversals, and starting with Regice or Dialga G X, Warp Energy has saved my bacon several times. It can also be used to get out of a Status Condition such as Paralysis, Poison, Sleep, Confusion, etc. It also comes in handy when getting Gyarados back to the bench so that you can Psychic Restore back into the deck for late-game Set Up. The main reason it’s so essential in the current list is really to get your DGX to the bench safely after you level up, though.
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A Tale Of 2 Roads (The Battle Type)

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

Blaziken FBEh, there’s not much to say, but I figure that I ought to write something up. This weekend, there were 2 BRs in the area. Ava, Abdi, and I went to the first one. Abdi played Machamp, I played “Hot TOSSED” (as it was dubbed), and Ava played Donphan. Ava and Abdi couldn’t make Sunday’s tourney, so Gyarados and his pals accompanied me.

We had a higher than normal turnout at both events, thanks in part to a group of guys that road tripped it from South Dakota. It seems that the Sioux Falls league is poorly run, and they never receive their proper promos or prerelease swag at the events there. Someone ought to do something about that, because if these guys are that into the game attending a mismanaged league, just think how well things could be going (and how many people they could get into the game) if league and other events were run properly.

Well, on to the reports.
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Deck Workshop: Will Gyarados Stil be Atrocious After Rotation?

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

A big hello to all of you in Omar-Nation.  This is Pikkdogs here with a deck workshop.

Before we get started I would like to talk a little about Twitter.  I loved hearing you guys tweet during Nationals, and because of that I decided to get into Twitter more.  I have started to tweet about my decks and have found a couple of other people who do the same.  So if you are on twitter I would love to have you follow me and hopefully we can converse about the game.  Also, if you know anyone in the game who tweets also about it, please let me know.  My user name on there is “Pikkdogs.”

Like most of you, I am currently working on getting my decks post-rotation ready.  Some of my decks are working well, and some aren’t.  One that I am kind of on the fence about is Gyarados.

Just a small run through the strategy of the deck for all the new-comers.  Gyarados decks try to discard three Magikarps by turn 2 and then promote a Gyarados SF to do 90 damage with its “Tail Revenge” attack.  To get the karps in the discard pile, most people …

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Battle Roads: Dreamers, St. Louis Park, MN

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Saturday saw Team Omar take 3 of the top 4 spots in MN’s second Battle Roads. Sunday brought us a new opportunity to claim a Victory Medal. This time it was at Dreamers. My daughter, Ava, had birthday parties to attend both days, so she couldn’t attend. Here’s how my day went down. This will be somewhat of a mini-report, because Omar is going to come along and give full coverage of the weekend’s events.

Austino's GyaradosRound 1: Radu Ciocan – Sabledonk/SPionage/Sablelock
Radu starts Uxie. I donk him with my Sableye.
1-0

Round 2: Thomas Veazie – DialgaChomp
It wasn’t a super-quick battle, but Thomas never got anything set up for long. Most of the game was me bringing up his 110HP Pokemon and one-shotting them with Gyarados.
2-0

Round 3: Mark – BLG (Blaziken, Luxray, Garchomp)
This was a pretty good battle. I donked Mark the previous day when I played Shuppet and he played Jumpluff. Today was a tougher battle. Garchomp uses up a lot of energy, and if they can’t take prizes each turn, it’s tough once I get Gyarados set up. He got desperate near the end, and I recall having to use many Warp Energy and Super Scoop Up to get Regice and Claydol out of the way. In the end, it’s was all that Warping that won me the game.
3-0

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