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Last weekend me and my friends went to Dortmund for our first ever regionals! Tournament was amazingly run, it started on time. The judges were fantastic and great atmosphere all around! I decided to play Rainbow Road because we expected a lot of M Rayquaza after it won Liverpool earlier this month, but also Volcanion, Yveltal and a mix of other mega decks. Especially what we felt what was the best deck in the format Despair Ray M Gardevoir. I felt like we read the meta pretty well, I had great matchups almost all day. My goal was to just win a couple of BO3 matches and get some experience in because I have never played a BO3 match before, especially with a 50 minute limit. But when the day progressed I felt like I could hang with the big boys, and that I did!
Here is the list I ran:
4 Xerneas BKT
1 Xerneas Break STS
1 Hoopa EX AOR
1 Flygon EX PR
1 Genesect EX FCO
2 Shaymin-EX ROS
1 Volcanion-EX STS
1 Jolteon EX GEN
1 Umbreon EX FCO
1 Dragonite EX EVO
4 Professor Sycamore
4 Ultra Ball
4 VS Seeker
1 Float Stone
3 Trainers Mail
4 Max Elixir
1 Fighting Fury Belt
2 Super Rod
3 Sky Field
1 Parallel CIty
8 Fairy Energy
4 Double Colorless Energy
The only thing I would change is one of the Super Rod for a Teammates with Dragonite I feel like the extra Rod is not that impactful unless Dragonite is in the discard pile. And maybe a float stone for a switch, but I’m still scared of Fright Night so I might probably keep 2 switch anyways. Overall I felt it was a strong list throughout the tournament.
Per round recap
Round 1 M Rayquaza/Jolteon
So first round 1 I faced M Rayquaza, it was a quick 2-0 for me. Game 1 she started with a Hoopa EX, attached a double colorless and passed. I dug for my double colorless and I hit it for the turn 2 donk. Game two my she went first, I got the dream hand and got the first turn Rainbow Force for the knockout. She Sycamored a M Rayquaza away and started powering up a Jolteon EX on the bench, I had a Lysandre and she scooped after an ultra ball and saw what was prized. Quick match, so I’m 1-0 for the day feeling good with my deck choice.
Round 2 Zygarde/Regirock
Round 2 I faced Luke Kirkham from Omnipoke, we chatted about his scizor list that he piloted to a top 8 in Liverpool during the match, but the games were close and intense. Game 1 I got a knockout early on his Regirock, but he N’ed me to a dead hand and he came back and killed my Xerneas and Jolteon. I Lysandred to stalled enough to powered up almost two Xerneas . This is where I found I misplayed or made the wrong choice. I had nothing but a VS seeker in my hand, I could have Lysandred and killed the threat on the board, but I chose to Sycamore and knocked out a Regirock. I was afraid I would be in top deck mode next turns if I Lysandred, I totally forgot about the prize card I would get after the knockout. After that I got N’ed to nothing and we traded attackers and he Lysandred a Shaymin for the win. Game 2 he started Regirock,I got an explosive first turn and got a knockout the next turn. He scooped early to conserve time for a game 3. Game 3 was a close game it came down to time, I had the last two turns of the extension. He got a clutch fury belt and a Pokemon Center Lady. In the last turn of the match I Sycamored and got the Dragonite EX I needed but wasn’t able to hit the super rod. I was only able to do 220, 10 short for the win.
Round 3 Yveltal/Hammers
Round 3 really showed my inexperience. I faced Alesandro Cremascoli, one of the best in Europe if not the world running a really bad matchup, especially his list. So we flipped over and he started with Fright Night and me with Umbreon EX. Powered him up because I have a dead hand. I got an ultra ball but Hoopa EX was prized so I went for a Shaymin. At this point he was still guessing what in the world am I playing. I finally got a Xerneas powered up but not enough Pokemon to kill the Fright Night. He hammers and Flare Grunted away all my energies, this is when I realized he’s not running a normal Yveltal list and I needed to find an out against this matchup. He just kept Pitch Black Spearing away and I scooped eventually. Game two, we both know what we are facing. He already has a plan to beat me by not benching any EX and me still trying to figure out how to win against it. I kept Jolteon EX active until I powered up a Xerneas, but the hammers and Lysandre was too much and I lost.
Round 4 Despair Ray M Gardevoir
So with the loss I was dropped to the middle of the pack, but was ready to climb back. Game 1 I won the coin flip and got and explosive turn one, he had and explosive first turn with Hoopa EX and Shaymin as well, attached an energy and a spirit link to the active, which I thought was a mistake. Next turn I got enough Pokemon and another Xerneas with energy as well, I knocked out the active and he scooped. He showed that he had the other two links prized. So he went first game 2 and did the same exact thing as game 1. I got of turn one Rainbow Force for the knockout aka “The Dream”. He Lysandre my Volcanion EX and knocked it out. Now needing two extra typing to get the knockout on a mega. I just dropped Dragonite EX picked up my Volcanion EX and he scooped again showing he had the other two links prized. He did the same mistake twice, but we take those.
Round 5 M Scizor
Round 5 I faced a Belgian so that was nice, he had to mulligan a couple of times and I saw a M Scizor spirit links and in my head I was hoping for the Garbodor build instead of the build that Luke ran in Liverpool. He won the flip and started game 1 with a good setup, and revealed he was running a Hammers/Garbodor list. So I was quite relieved because I have a hard time against the Silent Lab/Red Card list. My turn I got “The Dream” and it all went from there streaming Xerneas against his EXs. Game two was pretty much the same but slightly closer where I had to Lysandre around a Coballion at some point.
Round 6 Darkrai/Giratina
My opponent won the flip but had to mulligan a couple of times, showing some Double Dragon Energy, I felt good because we don’t mind facing Giratina all day. Nothing special really happened in this match. I got “The Dream” game 1 and streamed Xerneas again against his EXs.
Game two he started his lone Hoopa EX and passed. I got “The Dream” again and donked his Hoop EX. Now 4-1-1 I have to win two more matches in the last three rounds to get to day 2.
Round 7 Rainbow Road Mirror
My opponent won the flip and got an explosive set up. I started an Umbreon and had to Veil of Darkness my dead hand. He wasn’t able to kill my Umbreon. So I got an Ultra Ball and set up my board. We traded Xerneas until he revealed he was running one lightning energy and powered up a Jolteon EX, so I played an Ultra Ball to get Flygon, promoted him. Used Voice of The Sands, Lysandre the Jolteon EX and switched to my Xerneas for the knock out going down to one prize. His turn he got enough Pokemon and Energy to take his last prize. Game two was almost the same thing but with me starting and having a better hand. I was already tired and kept misplaying. My opponent was kind enough to let it slip when the judge passed by. And in the end it was down to two prizes for both of us. All he needs is a Lysandre for the win with his powered up Jolteon EX ready to knockout my poor Shaymin. He promoted his last 1 prize Pokemon and had only EX Pokemon on the bench. So I Retreated my Jolteon EX to my Flygon EX, I let him promote an EX and switched to my Xerneas for the win. We only had a minute left to finish a whole game. When time was up and we only had the 3 turn extension we just stopped playing because there was no point. With the draw I had to win my last two matches.
Round 8 M Rayquaza
Second to last round, I was dead tired playing for 8 hours of Pokemon with a couple hours of sleep. I saw the pairing and I was up against a Dutch player who I faced in one of my first League Challenge and just out experienced me even when I was beating him badly, I gave him a win condition that I shouldn’t have and he took it. This was an amazing match and woke me right up. I went first and got set up, he got set up too but didn’t get the first turn Emerald Break. I knocked out an EX and a Mega, He N’ed me to two and I started powering up another Xerneas on the bench. Before he knocked out another Xerneas. I promoted Shaymin to protect my Xerneas. He didn’t get the Lysandre he needed to knockout my Xerneas but he knocked out my Shaymin to go down to one prize. This was my last chance, with a Lysandre in my hand I only needed to top deck a Double Colorless. And I got it! He asked me if I got what I needed and I nodded. He had mixed feelings, because we were top decking insane cards and was just having an amazing and fun game but lost. Game 2 he started and I got “The Dream” and took all my prizes with a couple of Xerneas. It was bittersweet eliminating a Dutch player from the race but was only one win away from a day 2 Regionals.
Round 9 Houndoom/Bunnelby/Raticate
This was a win and in match! Everyone at the table I had great matchups against, but I got to face Houndoom mill. This deck was the bane of my existence, especially piloted by someone who got top 8 at Worlds. He just kept playing variety of hammers, Flare Grunt and milling away with Houndoom. When He Milled crucial pieces to my win condition, I scooped. Game two I started powering up a Xerneas on the bench to protect him from Flare Grunt and attack when I felt it was time. But he just outplayed me with Bunnelby, Rottotilering his hammers back to his deck and just spamming them. He milled crucial parts again, so I extended my hand and congratulated him for his day 2.
Great guy, we talked the day after and his insight on the Houndoom deck, and how he hit the jackpot facing me when there was 5 Greninja at the table. Everyone tells him, they beat Houndoom mill all the time online. But he finds people online don’t know anything about the deck. He thinks they play bad cards like Team Rocket’s Handy work. You have to play it as a fatigue deck rather than a mill deck. Furthermore, his decision making was also amazing. I watched him play day two againsts a Volcanion. I honestly can write a whole paragraph on his decision making alone but he had a Shaymin with energy attached and a few damage counters on it facing a baby Volcanion with an energy and two EX powered up. He had Max potion and Sycamore in hand. I would have used the Max potion and Sycamored, because his opponent had 2 enegry in his hand and he knows that because his opponent Fisherman’ed for them. So he just Sycamor’ed and got a hammer, Houndoom and some other stuff. So he hammers away the baby Volcanions energy away, benched the Houndoom, retreated the Shaymin to the Houndoom, played Team Aqua’s secret base and milled an escape rope. I would have lost with my decision of playing that Max Potion because I wouldn’t have to energy to retreat the Shaymin EX and attached an Energy to the Houndoom, the opponent would have drawn the escape rope and won. These micro decisions changes the whole course of the game. So every time you play a card you have to question yourself. Like playing a Max Elixir or Max Potion has many implications that we don’t think about as we do it.
- How many Max Elixirs will I have left after this one?
- How many are prized?
- Which Pokemon should I invest on or should I wait to see if an obvious option pops up?
- Should I play it now, to avoid getting it if I get N’ed?
- How many VS seeker or N does he have?
- Will I be item locked next turn?
- Will this drop my hand to 3 and might get Delinquented?
One small decision can impact the course of the game and I find it amazing how they are able make the right decisions consistently.
But back to the recap, If only I hit a good matchup last round I would have been at least 11th going to day 2 with a few bad matchups in the top 32. But sometimes luck isn’t in your favor. I ended up 42nd out of 303 players, not bad for someone who’s only playing this game for a couple of months. So that is a top 64 finish which got me 24 Championship Points and 18 booster packs! I’m now at 54/500 CP, a long way to go to qualify for worlds. It was a grueling day, I have never played Pokemon for 11 hours straight before, so I wasn’t used to the grind like this big tournament. But it felt great being at the top tables majority of the tournament, I felt like just by sitting next to great players makes you better aka “The Osmosis Effect”. With this great result and experience under my belt, I am not only aiming to win a couple of matches anymore, but aiming for that day 2 next regionals!
I hope you guys enjoyed the read, I had fun playing and writing this article.