2010 Michigan State Pokemon Championship – Okemos Convention Center

by Cheffords ~ March 22nd, 2010.

Shuppet PlatinumHey there, Cheffords here. This is my first tournament report, and first post to TeamOmar.com. I hope you get something out of this, because I know I do when I read other people’s reports.

A little about myself: this is my second season playing the Pokemon card game. I got into the game when my daughter asked if she could start collecting the cards and I said yes but we had to learn the game too. Since then she and I have been going to league and tournaments together pretty regularly. My first season was a huge learning opportunity and it took me a long time to get enough knowledge of the cards and various strategies to feel like I was able to compete. Things changed this year during the very first City Championship when I ran a vanilla Shuppet deck and won first place. My daughter has been running Kingdra since Legends Awakened came out and she took third place at the same city’s.

We went to 3 different city’s this year and have tweaked our decks over the course of time. I no longer think of my deck as a vanilla Shuppet deck, in fact I don’t really think it qualifies as what most people think of as a Shuppet deck anymore. In other words, I don’t focus on the turn 1 donk, instead favoring to manipulate the play field and get the one hit knock outs as often as I can. Turn 1 donks still happen, but I don’t focus on them.

Enough about me, here’s what I observed at the tournament.

During registration there is a lot of talk about last week’s championship in Indiana. I ask around to find out what the meta game might be based on and what was prevalent, sounds like a lot of Jumpluff (winner in masters), Gyrados, Gengar, and of course SP. This mingling helps break the tension I am feeling and also lets me reconnect with players I haven’t seen in a while.

We sit down for round 1 at 11:15 AM and they let us know there are 70 players in masters which will require a 7 round swiss pairing with a top 16 elimination bracket; expect to be playing until 11 or 12 at night if you go all the way.

Round 1 vs. Alan T. with Gengar Lv. X, Dusknoir Lv.X, Spiritomb

Alan is from the league I go to so we know what expect from each other’s decks before we even sit down. In fact, I had lost a game versus his deck just last week, so I knew I had my work cut out for me; what a way to start the day.

Alan’s deck focusses on trainer locking with Spiritomb while setting up Gengar and Dusknoir, both of which need 3 energy for their most expensive attacks. Alan uses both the Gengar with Curse Poke-Power and the Gengar with Fainting Spell Poke-Power. The Dusknoir he is using has the Shadow Command Poke-Power. His general plan is to evolve and power up the Curse Gengar and then use Shadow Skip to do 60 damage plus 10 to a benched Pokemon and then switch for Spiritomb to continue to trainer lock. The Dusknoir comes into play to either use Damage Even to snipe something for a knock out or to use Night Spin to prevent attacks from low energy decks. As you can see this is a very tough matchup for a Fade Out based deck.

Alan wins coin toss and goes first.

Alan opens with Gastly, I open with Mr. Mime.

I am trainer locked for my first 3 turns of the game. During this time I end up discarding a psychic energy to retreat Mr. Mime in favor of Uxie so I can at least attack the Spiritomb. On my fourth turn I knock out Spiritomb which breaks the trainer lock for the moment. Alan returns the favor and knocks out my Uxie, there goes my second psychic energy.

At this point things are looking grim since the only energy I have left is a Cyclone which I would need to either draw into or search out with 2 Poke Drawer +. Even if I get the energy, to use it effectively I need Dunsparce who is colorless (did I mention that Gengar, Dusknoir, and Spiritomb are all resistant to colorless?) Yeah, this is a real tough match up!

I make the most of not being in trainer lock and unload my hand looking for anything that can help me out. Along the way I get 2 Poke Drawer + which let me find the cyclone energy and a Roseanne’s which I use for an Unown R and Dunsparce.

With an attacker and energy in hand I begin to feel better and start to strategize my attacks. We exchange attacks and knockouts for a while, but I am 1 prize up when Alan thinks we are running out of time. This sort of panics him and he seems to rush a few turns. I do my best to not rush because I don’t want to make any mistakes, but I also don’t want to stall. It comes down to the wire we both have 1 prize left. I have 2 Uxies on the bench both with 10 damage on them, and a damaged Crobat G. Alan’s side has 100 damage on Gengar Lv.X, 90 damage on Gengar, 60 damage on Dusknoir Lv.X and I top deck a Poke Blower + to start my turn. I know that If I can’t knock out something this turn it is all over. I look at my hand and see a second Poke Blower + in there and I decide to pull his Claydol active and one shot it with Dunsparce for the win. Great game Alan!

I am 1 – 0.

Round 2 vs. Chris G. with Tangrowth Lv.X, Shaymin Lv.X, various grass supporters

Chris is also from our league but I haven’t actually played against the deck he has with him today (ironically, the only deck of Chris’ that I have played against was built specifically to counter my deck and of course I lost to it.)

The general Idea behind Chris’ deck is to tank Tangrowth Lv.X with Shaymin Lv.X and then use its Green Renewal Poke-Body and its Healing Growth Poke-Power to heal up any damage. If this gets set up it is a major pain to knock out Tangrowth Lv.X.

I win coin toss and go first.

Chris opens with Tropius, I open with Crobat G active and Unown R benched.

I get Mr. Mime in play and active on my second turn. This alone isn’t so much of an issue for Chris because the attack he uses requires a coin toss and he hits tails several times during the course of the game. On Chris’s second turn he benches a second Tropius and a Sunkern. I go after Sunkern with Crobat’s for an easy knock out. Chris is struggling to get setup (later I asked about draw and he said there were many hand refresh type supporters in the deck that he didn’t see during our game). I proceed to get a knock out per turn until Chris decides to scoop.

I am 2 – 0.

Round 3 vs. Jeff M. with Omastar, Kabutops, Aerodactyl

Jeff and I faced off way back in the city’s championship where I debuted my Shuppet deck. I have seen him at many tournaments and expected a different deck than the one he played (since he played that at the city’s too).

Jeff’s deck tries to get a Kabutops active with 1 fight energy attached with Aerodactyl on the bench. Using Aerodactyl’s Poke-Power Unearth, Jeff can search out a fossil from the deck every turn. This is good because if he discards a fossil as part of Kabutops’ attack, the attack does 70 damage. Meanwhile he builds up an Omastar who’s attack damage is increased for every fossil in the discard. Nice synergy here, too bad it doesn’t seem to do as well as you’d expect.

Jeff wins coin toss and goes first.

Jeff opens with Helix fossil active and Old Amber benched, I open with Mr. Mime.

The details on this match are lost, but the general gist of it is as follows: he is going with Omastar since that’s what he has active. Mr. Mime forces him to attach 3 energy cards before he can attack for damage. Eventually he knocks out Mr. Mime, but each time he does, I return the favor, sending Omastar and the energy to the discard. Eventually all he has left are Kabutops with 1 energy each, and I am chipping away with a powered up Shuppet and hiding behind Mr. Mime. To Jeff’s credit, he actually knocked out my Mr. Mime 3 times this game, but it really wasn’t enough to win.

I am 3 – 0.

We break for lunch and I catch up with my daughter and my friends. My daughter is 2 – 1 at lunch and seems to be having a lot of fun with her PokeWalker and Soul Silver on her DS. It seems like everyone has a PokeWalker and we do a lot of PokeWalker to PokeWalker communication throughout the day. The lunch break was 1 full hour and it seemed to drag on too long.

Round 4 vs. Mike G. with Machamp Lv.X

This is classic Machamp Lv.X; he is looking for a turn 1 donk if possible, but if not, then dominate with Machamp’s plethora of attacks.

Mike wins coin toss and goes first.

Mike opens with Machop active and Relicanth benched, I open with Uxie active and Unown R benched.

I knock out his opening Machop and decide not to send Uxie to the bottom of the deck or use Unown R’s Retire Poke-Power because I expect to see a Machamp from Mike on his next turn. Sure enough, he gets a Machamp in play on his second turn, however he has Relicanth active and decides to pass. I attack Relicanth, still keeping Uxie and Unown R in play; I am a bit concerned about my draw since I haven’t seen any other pokemon yet. He decides to attach a second energy to his benched Machamp and pass. I knock out the Relicanth this time sending Uxie to the bottom of my deck in favor a Crobat G. He promotes Machamp and uses Strong Willed instead of Take Out; due to Crobat’s fight resistance he doesn’t get a knock out. I draw into my Cyclone energy, promote Uxie and attach, he sends up Azelph and I knock it out, again sending Uxie to the bottom of the deck. He brings Machamp back up and uses Strong Willed again. This time I use 2 Poke Blower + to get a Machoke active and knock it out with Shuppet. Mike chooses to use Take Out and tells me he wasn’t going to lose without taking a single prize. Of course this opens the door for Shuppet to one-shot Machamp and the rest is history.

I am 4 – 0.

Round 5 vs. Catherine T. with Blastoise and Delcatty

Catherine is playing with her friends deck. She plays at league and with her friends but doesn’t really have cards so she uses their decks. I can only assume this is a standard build of Blast-a-cat.

Catherine wins coin toss and goes first

Catherine opens with Uxie, I open with Uxie.

She attaches and attacks. I have a great opening hand that eventually gets me 2 Poke Drawer + which I use to get an expert belt and energy. I also have a PlusPower, a Crobat G, and a PokeTurn. I knock out her Uxie and it is game over. Sorry Catherine.

We play a second game for fun and I turn 1 a Squirtle. Sorry again Catherine!

I am 5 – 0.

My daughter ends the day 3 – 2 for a 7th place finish out of 24 players. She pulls a Blissey Prime in her prize packs.

Round 6 vs. Tim L. with Gyarados, Sableye

This deck uses Sableye to use multiple Supporters in a turn trying to get Magikarps in hand and then discard them with Felicity’s Drawing powering up Gyarados’ attack. As far as I can tell this is a common build out of the Gyarados deck.

I win coin toss and go first

Tim opens with Uxie, I open with Uxie active and Unown R benched.

I pass on my first turn. Tim uses a Pokemon Collector to get Sableye and 2 Magikarps. He then uses a Warp Point to get his Sableye active, this puts my Unown R active. He uses Impersonate for a Felicity’s and discard the 2 Magikarps. This, in my opinion, is a great start for him and I am scared. During this turn I search my deck hoping to find Mr. Mime but of course he is in the prizes (in hind-sight, this turns out to be a non factor in this game.) I get Unown Q and attach it to Unown R, I drop an Uxie for setup and cards. I retreat the Unown R and retire, this sends Unown Q to the discard as well. I drop a second Uxie and get an expert belt and an energy. I knock out his Sableye. His next turn is essentially exactly as his previous except he only discards one Magikarp. My turn is a repeat as well and I knock out his second Sableye. He benches a Magikarp and puts expert belt on it, I begin to drool. I can’t recall which card I use to get his Magikarp active, but I somehow I do and I knock it out for the double prize. He decides to scoop. He was looking for a broken time space and never got it.

I am 6 – 0.

Round 7 vs. Kyle L. with Jumpluff, Luxray GL Lv.X

Go back one year when Kyle and I faced off at this same venue for this same event last year. He had just won the Indiana tournament and I was basically a newbie. His deck then was Gengar with Dialga G Lv.X and I had Regigigas Lv.X with Weavile and Darkrai Lv.X. We played a good game and he taught me a thing or two (during this game I see Crobat G used in tandem with PokeTurn for the first time). Kyle flipped tails several times on his Fainting Spells and somehow I won.

Back to the present.

We all learned the power of field manipulation last year when Luxray GL Lv.X came out and was used in the Beedrill deck that won at the World Championships so it is no surprise to see it as a tech in a new deck. Jumpluff does 10 damage times the number of pokemon in play for a single energy, Luxray makes sure that Jumpluff is attacking the right pokemon. Both Kyle and I are 6 – 0 at this point, so you can imagine how effective his deck is.

Kyle wins coin toss and goes first

Kyle opens with Hoppip, I open with Crobat G.

After attaching energy he attacks for 10 damage. I use a Roseanne’s for energy and Crobat G, I drop Crobat and Flash Bite Hoppip, then I drop Uxie and it’s game over. Sorry Kyle, would have loved to actually played with you.

I finish swiss pairings ranked first with a 7 – 0 record.

Top cut round 1 vs. Josh P. with Flygon Lv.X

Josh and I played each other once last fall during Battle Roads. It has been that long since we have talked. He and I got caught up over the course of this day discussing our decks, our matches, and ranks. Josh was keeping very close eye on who was winning and losing because he wanted to be in the top cut and figured at least 1 player with a 5 – 2 record would make it. Turns out he was right and he got in the top cut. You can read his tourney report over at SixPrizes.

His deck uses the classic Flygon Lv.X deck milling strategy, but he has added in a Rhyperior that has a Poke-Power named Earth Fissure that discards the top 3 cards from the opponent’s deck; ouch!

It turns out that I essentially meltdown during my match with Josh because the Flygon strategy is the perfect counter to my deck. I have forgotten (or am trying to forget) the painful details so all I have are high-level overviews of our 2 games.

Game 1 – I get an early 3 prizes before he gets his trap setup. He traps a Crobat G and proceeds to mill my deck away. I flip tails on all of my super scoops and am at a loss on how to handle this. Then he drops the Rhyperior, hits heads on a super scoop, drops Rhyperior a second time and I know I am out. I decide to end the pain and scoop.

During the two minute shuffle, I am thinking hard about what I can do to counter Josh’s strategy and I figure that I need to be more conservative in my own drawing of cards to help reduce the risk of being decked out. I also decide to save my super scoops for as long as possible.

Game 2 – I try to adjust my tactics, but he gets my Mr. Mime trapped and I flip tails on 3 super scoop in the same turn. My only hope, and this is a very tiny hope, is to draw into a warp point, but alas it gets milled by Wind Erosion. When that happens, I concede and wish Josh good luck in the next round.

So, I go home at 8:00 PM instead of midnight having won 7 out of 8 matches for the day. I wish I had done better in the top cut, but Flygon was just too much for me to handle.

Thanks for reading,


Category: State Championships, Tourney Report | Tags: , ,