Riding the Bubble in Wisconsin Dells

by Ed ~ April 18th, 2010.

Team Omar Midwest Regionals

Team Omar at Midwest Regionals (photo by Steven from Poke Press)

Going in to regionals, I felt a bit ill prepared. I had wanted to run Jumpluff, because playing it pleases me. I didn’t get much play with the deck, and when I tested it with Omar about a week and a half before regionals, he handed me like 5 consecutive losses. After that, I felt much more comfortable with the Gyarados I played in MN states. I decided to use the same deck, which put me at ease.

Most Gyarados builds would have a pretty similar core. Some people tech in Blissey, Luxray, and maybe even Donphan. I didn’t. Enough about my deck, though. If you want to read about that, see this article about Austino’s Gyarados. Let’s get to the regionals action.

My wife and kid picked me up at work, and we headed out to Wisconsin Dells. We arrived at the Wilderness Territory at around 7:30. It probably took us about 15 minutes to figure out where the Pokemon stuff was. There wasn’t a whole lot going on Friday night. They had pods for people that wanted to get some pratcice/testing in. Ed (not me) was there selling cards. We bought a couple deck boxes, and made sure he had a Scizor for Ava’s deck. I wasn’t sure if I’d need to buy it, but it turned out that I did the next morning.

We hit the hotel, filled out decklists, and went to sleep. In the morning, we checked in our lists, and then went in search of sleeves. I got a set, and my wife had a set from Abdi. We sat down and resleeved both decks. I was under the impression that our 10-15 year old Ultra Pro sleeves wouldn’t be welcome at the tourney. Frustratingly enough, my wife’s brand new sleeves weren’t welcome. They got DQ’d after a couple rounds. She put the 10 year old sleeves back on, and nobody had a problem with that. What a joke. Her sleeves were too reflective, but the official Pokemon sleeves that everyone uses aren’t any less reflective.

Okay, enough buildup…

Round 1: Matt L. – FlyPhan
I don’t recall a whole lot about this matchup. I remember that Matt started with Donphan, and once I got Gyarados set up, Donphan rode the bench. Flygon tried to do some damage, but I think that Matt was in a rough spot with this matchup. Matt was an interesting guy. At first I thought that he was real new to the game, because he asked some pretty basic questions about the game setup and stuff. It turned out, though, that he knew pretty much each card. If you were there, and you heard a guy yell “JUDGE” ultra loud in the middle of round 1, that was Matt. He wanted to know if I could Regi Move to discard cards even if his active was evolved. I can, and I think that each of my first 3 opponents all called “JUDGE” when I did this.

Win 1-0

Round 2: Justin K. – Leafeon
I know Justin. He’s a MN guy that’s at Dreamers sometimes. I’ve played against him before, and I think I even played against his deck before. Justin had me real nervous for a while. I think that he was ahead on prizes when “20 minutes left” was called. I started playing quicker, and, once it was rolling, I was able to pick off his Pokemon for the win.

Win 2-0

Round 3: Chris W. – Turbo GG
Chris had an interesting deck. It was Gardevoir/Gallade, but it used a draw engine like Shuppet. It had Quick Ball, Unown R, Pokedex, Poke Drawer+, etc. I think that Chris was the guy that played 2 double Poke Drawer+ in the same game. I don’t recall seeing that before. I had a really weird start in this game. I started Sableye with 2 Pokemon Collector in my hand. On turn 1, I announced Impersonate and went searching. I had 0 Collector in my deck. I think I went for Bebe (maybe for Gyarados), but I don’t recall much of anything else after that. I think turn 2 was Collector and Impersonate Felicity. It was a good battle, but Chris had a tough time once Gyarados was set up.

Win 3-0

Round 4: Emmanuel Divens – LuxChomp/Gengar
I knew who Emmanuel was, but I guess he didn’t know me. That’s how I like it. Emmanuel was playing an interesting mix of LuxChomp and Fainting Spell Gengar. It must have worked well for him, because he was the only 7-0 in Swiss. I know that I was afraid to Expert Belt my Gyarados due to Fainting Spell. I thought I put up a good fight, but you can figure that if he was 7-0, that means this was my first L.

Loss 3-1

Round 5: Shelley H. (Jay Hornung’s Mom) – Fullop-esque Jumpluff
I was able to test against this deck quite a bit, since I thought about playing it. Shelley is a good player, but I’m not convinced she was real used to playing the deck. She had one main misplay, and after that it was downhill for her. She benched a Luxray, and then did a bunch of stuff (like Cosmic Powers). After a while, she retreated Jumpluff and tried to Lv. X Luxray. I think she thought that Broken Time-Space allowed her to do it the turn Luxray came in. It didn’t work, and she was stuck with Luxray active (and the X in her hand). Next turn I KO’d Luxray which made the X fairly useless. As I said, it didn’t go well for her after that.

Win 4-1

Round 6: Ross Cawthon – LuxChomp
First of all, Poke Press just posted an interview with Ross. You can check it out here.
This was a wild game. It’s the game I remember the best. I am not impressed with my draw. I start active Uxie with benched Baltoy. Ross starts active Luxray and benches Lucario. He goes first and doesn’t attack. I think this is how my turn went. Bebe for Crobat G (weird, yeah), Flash Bite Luxray, Warp Point (his Lucario and my Crobat go active), attach energy and Expert Belt (to Uxie), retreat Crobat, attack for 40 X2, KO Lucario (which kills Gyarados) and put Uxie on the bottom. I think Ross then used Call Energy. On my turn, I Belted Sableye, dropped Special Dark and KO’d Luxray. Yeah, weird. Ross then puts some Flash Bite damage on Sableye to make it so I can’t Overconfident. I think that I played SSU on it and used another Flash Bite to KO another SP. That’s 3 KO’s in 3 turns vs SP, and I haven’t even set up a Gyarados. I could tell that Ross wasn’t feelin’ it. It sounds like it’s all going my way, but Ross’s next turn KO on the ExBelt via Promocroak’s Poison Revenge meant that he was only 1 prize behind. He got Garchomp running, and started his sniping. I might be mixing things up, but I think this was the game where he sniped Claydol. On my next turn, I used Palmer to put Baltoy (only) back in the deck, used Great Ball to put in on the bench, used Poke Rescue to grab Claydol, and BTS’d Claydol in. Gyarados was getting KO’s at will thanks to Regice, but Ross put a stop to it when he Gusted up Claydol. I couldn’t retreat him, and it sat like that for a turn or so. If Ross KO’d Claydol, then I would win with Gyarados, so he sniped my bench. We were now tied at 1 prize left, and I think Ross had the win next turn. I top decked a Warp Energy, dropped it on Claydol, and won.

I have to add a little “Thanks” to Jon (Team Busted). When I sat down across from Ross for this match, Jon told me that I couldn’t win. Where’s the love, Jon? Never doubt the laminated playmat.

Win 5-1

Round 7: Abraham Morales – Gengar
This match sucked. My draw was horrible. I think I started with 3 BTS in hand. I did have Sableye, however, so I started off the match Impersonating for Collector for 3 Karp. Abraham’s first turn was fairly amazing. He got all set up, and even played BTS (negating any usefullness mine had). He even used Looker on me, and my hand was so bad that he got 5 cards for himself (maybe he would have anyway). On my turn, I think I dropped a Karp and called Impersonate. Oh, snap. Abe had set up Uxie, Mesprit, and Azelf. I was now required to use an extra colorless for any attack, and I screwed it up. I had a Special Dark in my hand, and Abe knew it. It’s obvious that Abraham is a really good guy. I put down the energy to pay for my attack, and I believe that he was going to let me do it. I thought better of it and asked him if he wanted to call Judge. He did. I think we both knew what was supposed to happen, and calling the judge was just the right thing to do. Abe, if you’re out there, I appreciate how you handled this situation. I would have loved to Impersonate Felicity and had a shot at winning the game, but I if I won, I think I would have felt that you should have. This pretty much sealed the game for me. I couldn’t draw ANYTHING useful for way too long. I recall top decking stuff like Expert Belt. Whoo! I actually did set up a Gyarados and got a couple KO’s, IIRC. It couldn’t be sustained, though.

Loss 5-2

I waited around until results were posted. Top Cut was 16 players. I got 17th, riding the bubble. My opponent’s win % was 0.11% behind 15th place (15 and 16 were tied). I still say that Jeff put me at 17th just because I told him that I wanted to drive home early and not have to wait for top cut.

Steven that runs Poke Press interviewed me after the tourney. I’ll probably post that interview along with my tourney pictures tomorrow (or whenever it’s all ready). Then we hit the road and got home around 10:30PM.

It was a good little trip. I wish that more Team Omar could have made it. My wife said that she’d consider doing another tourney if the crew was there. She went 3-4, and Ava went 2-4. Ava mainly colored in the “Art Corner” and seemed annoyed when she had to take a break from coloring to play cards. That art setup was awesome for her (and us). It was bad news when the 7th round rolled in and the art corner was put away. Then Ava was bored and kept trying to talk to us.

I guess the judge didn’t like Ava hanging around the room during play and tried to have Tonya send her out in the hall. You can’t expect a mom to send her 6 year-old daughter out by herself. I know there are rules, but I have to say that this judge was a bit too by-the-book. Sometimes you have to consider the spirit of the game. There were multiple annoyances that were caused by his by-the-book mentality. I do think that he was a good and knowledgeable judge, but that’s not all there is to the game.

Overall, it was a great event. We all had a good time. Watch for upcoming posts with pictures and deck discussions. I don’t know why I’m still awake.

UPDATE: I decided to keep a collection of links related to this post/tourney. Here they are.

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