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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