Monday, June 10, 2013

Not a 7-time National Champions' report!





Hello everyone!


So, Nationals didn’t go quite as expected, but I’m not too disappointed about it since I was very stressed about it for a long time. Winning Nationals 6 times really puts some pressure on, lol. For a long time I was going to play a very similar Plasma list, which Tord Reklev used to get into the top2 in Norwegian Nationals, but as I found myself drawing dead with Plasma over and over again, no matter how much I put draw and consistency, there I decided to play with Accelgor/Gothitelle.
As you know, I’m a huge fan of lock decks and tested Accelgor for a long time before it surfaced in Norwegian Nationals. Anyways, this won’t be too long of an article, because not much didn’t really happen in the tournament. Let’s start with my Nationals list.






Pokémon:
4x Gothita
3x Gothitelle (Emerging Powers)
3x Shelmet
3x Accelgor (Dark Explorers)
2x Mew EX
1x Duskull
1x Dusknoir (Boundaries Crossed)
2x Munna
2x Musharna
=21


Trainer:

4x N
4x Skyla
2x Professor Juniper
2x Colress
3x Tropical Beach
1x Dowsing Machine
3x Ultra Ball
2x Pokemon Communication
3x Level Ball
3x Float Stone
4x Rare Candy
1x Super Rod
1x Town Map
1x Tool Scrapper
1x Pokémon Catcher
=35



Energy:
4x Double Colorless Energy
=4


Some thoughts about the list

As you can see, I just wanted it to get the set-up as quickly as possible. Musharnas, 3 Tropical Beach, 12 Supporters and 8 Pokémon Search all helped with that. In the test games I got over 60% of the times T2 Gothitelle and in most tournament games it worked that way as well. The only thing I wanted to add to the deck was a 2nd Pokémon Catcher, but I felt like the Finnish metagame would be that Blastoise-less that I wouldn’t need it. RayEels was always a very popular deck in Finland and as I wanted to keep the Tool Scrapper there and still keep the deck consistent, I didn’t find space for the 2nd Catcher. In hindsight, I should have just ditched the Tool Scrapper although it would have costed me the top8 game. I just didn’t fit everything I wanted to the deck and it pretty much costed me the tournament in combination with mediocre to bad opening hands.

Also, I believe the 3-3 Accelgor line pretty much gives the deck a very strong Blastoise match-up, because possible Mewtwo EXs are weak to Mew EX and Keldeo EX is weak to Accelgor. I just couldn’t play with 2 Accelgor, because last time I played with 2 main attackers in my deck, I lost in the Worlds top8, because they both were prized…





1. Round & 2. Round
Even though I played in only 4-5 tournaments this year (and didn’t even win any of them), I got enough CP points to be the second most CPs getting player in Finland, which gave me 2 byes. A very interesting fact. 3 players got 2 byes and all of them made it all the way to the top 4. I was pretty much just stalling around these two rounds, because I wasn’t allowed to scout other people’s decks.

2-0

3. Round Blastoise/Kyurem EX/Keldeo EX

I am able to go first. I have a godly hand, with a lot of Basics and a Float Stone on Gothita in T1. Tropical Beach for 7 in T1. T2 Gothitelle with Float Stone, Musharna on the bench and 1 Shelmet, 1 Accelgor and 1 Mew Ex. He obviously never gets the Blastoise up and as I am able to get the Dusknoir in T4, he isn’t even able to attack in the whole game, because I just tear through the Keldeo EXs with Accelgors! The deck worked pretty much perfectly.
3-0


4. Round Blastoise/Keldeo EX/Mewtwo EX/Musharna (the tournament winner)

The story was pretty similar to the last game. I go first, get the T2 Gothitelle. Even though my opening hand wasn’t as good as it was before, it still was very good. One thing is very good to mention from his list – he ran 2 Wartortles, which worked extremely well against me, because in normal situations he wouldn’t be able to get the Blastoise into play at all! I was able to kill off his Wartortle in this game, but didn’t succeed in that in the top games.
4-0

5. Round Landorus EX/Mewtwo EX/Tornadus EX/Garbodor

Even though I was already through, I didn’t want to lose the game. My Big brother was surprisingly in 4-0 as well with his Darkrai EX/Absol deck, so I wanted to go 6-0, so I wouldn’t face him. Well, my opponent goes first and I open with lone Gothita. Long story short, he attaches a DCE to his Mewtwo EX and donks me.
4-1


6. Round Eelektrik/Rayquaza/Victini EX

I was happy to finally face a RayEels, because it’s one of the decks’ best match-ups even if they happen to run Keldeo EX thanks to Trainer lock, Tool Scrapper, Catcher etc. RayEels is in huge trouble against Gothi, when it sets up. I believe he went first, but as his start was a bit clunky, I was able to get Gothi out in T3 and Rayquaza EX to the active spot. He had hard time Switching between Rayquazas since he was locked and once he killed my first Gothitelle, I was able to get the Dusknoir lock going and just Deck and Covered from that moment on.
5-1



My big brother went 6-0 in the Swiss. I was very surprised about that. However, that makes two of us, so we had a very good chance at meeting in the Finals.



Top8 Landorus EX/Mewtwo EX/Tornadus EX/Garbodor

1. Game
I go first, but have a horrible opening hand and prize my Tool Scrapper. When I draw my first two prizes, I haven’t played the Town Map and aren’t able to hit the Tool Scrapper from my prizes. I Wasn’t able to keep up without the Item lock, so I lost in about 20 minutes.
4-2 (0-1)


2. Game


I go first, have even worse hand than in last game, but don’t prize my Tool Scrapper! Instead, I draw it right before using my Juniper in T3 and have to use it on Trubbish. I can’t get the lock, so Garbodor rises again and gets a tool on it. I gave him 3 prizes in order to establish my set-up and hope for the perfect lock after I Dowsing Machine my Tool Scrapper and get him under the trainer lock. Well, as my Duskull is prized, I have to go with just Deck and Cover without the Dusknoir and am able to win in prizes 6-5. I was playing with 3 cards in my deck like the last 7 turns of the game. Very good game.
5-2 (1-1)


3. Game

I have a horrible opening hand ONCE AGAIN, but he attaches 2 DCEs to his Mewtwo EX, so I can X-Ball him back with my own Mew EX. Well he proceeds topdecking Switch , DCE, Mewtwo EX and OHKOS my Mew EX back. I don’t see any way out, but then something unpleasant happens. My opponent gets a epileptic like Stress-reaction and throws all the cards away from the table and we have to call ambulance. This isn’t the first this happened to him, but it was a pretty horrible way of “winning” the game and I really shouldn’t have deserved to win the game. I just hope he is alright now. 
6-2 (2-1)



Top4
Blastoise/Keldeo EX/Mewtwo EX/Musharna


1. & 2. Game


I really didn’t feel like playing at all after the incident in top8, but must is a must. Nothing really special happened in these two games. I was able to go first in both games, but as I didn’t get a supporter/Musharna/Tropical Beach/Gothitelle in 3 turns in the first game, I obviously lost. The second game was much tougher, but he was able to pull of the energy and Keldeo EXs and even Blastoises at the right time after every N. He just drew so much better than I did, that I was steamrolled even though I had him Item Locked almost through the whole game. Well, I shouldn’t have been in the top4 either way, so I really am not disappointed. Just a bit shocked still.

Öjvind, who won me in this game, proceeded to win the tournament, which I’m happy about, because he really deserved the win. His deck worked extremely well and the Wartortles and Musharnas were a very cool additions and they all really paid off in a metagame like this. My metagame call wasn’t correct (in the finals, there were 2 Blastoises, so I really would have needed the 2nd Catcher), but I still got the invite so no matter!
6-4 (0-2)



Final Results


1. Blastoise/Keldeo EX/Mewtwo EX/Musharna
2. Blastoise EX/Kyurem Plasma/Black Kyurem EX/Keldeo EX
3. Absol/Darkrai EX (My big brother)
4. Gothitelle/Accelgor/Musharna (Me)
5. Landorus EX/Mewtwo EX/Tornadus EX
6. Rayquaza/Eelektrik/Kecleon
7. Landorus EX/Mewtwo EX/Tornadus EX/Garbodor
8. Quad Snorlax


No Plasma? There were Plasma decks and they won Seniors and Juniors, but they didn’t well enough in the Masters. I believe Plasma is still too inconsistent for my taste and sometimes I think the reason it has done so well, is because it is played so widely! Anyways, in this metagame, Plasma wouldn’t have been any better call and I believe I would have done at least as bad as I know did, so I don’t really regret my deck choice.



Worlds?


I really was adjusted in winning the Nationals. That’s why I really don’t know what to think about Worlds now. I have a pretty empty feeling. It will cost me a LOT and I am not really comfortable with any deck in the current format as I can’t fit all the cards I want into Gothitelle. Also, as Finnish TCG is dying, proper playtesting in the summer will be very difficult. I still have to think through it a several times. I have about 800 CPs, so it’s enough for the Worlds invite, but now I just have to decide, is the Worlds worth about 1500$. What do you think – is it worth 1500$?  



Conclusion


I have very mixed feelings about the tournament. At times the deck worked just like in test games, but in the end I lost to bad draws as always. Probably the most alarming thing is that I didn’t win a single tournament this year. This has never happened to me before and I don’t know if it is that game has got more luck to it, I have become a worse player, other people have gotten even better or a combination of these three. The not-winning this year is one of the main reasons, I have to rethink my Worlds attendance. I’m not obviously at the top of my game at the moment and I’m not sure if Worlds will be any different unless I lucksack through the whole tournament.

Anyways, as Nationals are now finally behind me, it’s time to look in the future. There will be something very interesting happening in The Deck Out in the next few months, but I don’t yet want to spoil what it is. Big news, that’ for sure.

I will also keep a 2 week break from the blog in the summer, but before that I’ll make one final entry about Team Plasma deck, where I compare and analyze my almost Nationals Plasma list and another Plasma list. It will be very interesting and educative, so be sure to check it out! I want your opinions about those lists as well, so I hope you guys are active.


As always, feel free to comment or ask anything and everything.

Thanks for reading!


32 comments:

  1. You can still win worlds if you attend it but the game has become more about luck.

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  2. Should've ran the chicken

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  3. Yeah, any invitation to World's it's worth of it ;) I'm from Spain and we don't even have OP, having the opportunity you've, I won't think it too much :p Travel to Vancouver to show that in Europe there are really good players too!

    PD1: Blastoise EX on deck nº2? xD
    PD2: Keckleon on Ray/Eels on nº6? Interesting choice...

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  4. Keckleon is for mirror I am guessing. I think you should go to worlds. You are a good player and think you should try. Isn't worlds a blast just to attend let alone play?

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    Replies
    1. Yes, Keckleon were mainly for a mirror matches and it is also a great anti-Mewtwo unless you face some Garbodor deck. I suggested this tech for the player who got to top-8. I think the player managed to CFF for it, use it as shiny Rayquaza and he killed a Mewtwo or two with it. I'm not sure if he managed to use it as Rayquaza ex or use Victini ex's first move in a mirror match. xD

      Since it has 70 HP, it is searchable with a Level Ball, too!

      Delete
  5. Don't give up! I've made it to worlds, but I haven't won any tournament this year (Closest was top 2 at states, all of my darkrai were prized first game, and the second game I drew dead)

    So please keeps your hopes up! Winning isn't the most important thing, as long as your having fun playing the game, you should be happy you've gotten this far! You are awesome. People look up to you. I mean look, you made top 4! I'm pretty jealous of that, because top 4 takes skill... I think your a wonderful player that should go to worlds. I mean that! ^-^ --A concerned Anon

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  6. you should go to worlds IF you have no worries about money and the game. 1,5k is alot money and if you dont have 100% fun to play a deck dont go.

    In terms of plasma deck: i also played plasma at my nationals and i didnt like laserbank at all (not sure if you played laserbank). Frozen city was better for me because i had more space for setup and tech cards.

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  7. A better question to ask is going to worlds all about winning the tournament?

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    Replies
    1. To true my friend...to true!

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  8. To be exact, seniors was won by TDK and juniors by Deoxys/Mewtwo/Tornadus/Bouffalant.

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  9. I asked myself the same question as 1500$ is a lot of money. Still I wanna go because for me it is rare to have the invite.

    As you have the opportunity every year, maybe it is only a matter of money and motivation.

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  10. Esa, just think about it this way. You've never won worlds, but you've always won Nats. Maybe this year, it's time to not win Nats, but instead win Worlds ;)

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    Replies
    1. Weird logic, but I like where your going with it!

      Delete
  11. Just go and get top 8 to make your money back.

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  12. Why pokemon is "dying" in finland ?

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    Replies
    1. Many people are quitting. No new young players so Juniors and Seniors die off. A critical tournament organizer family is quitting making tournaments much more difficult to have. It is unclear (to me, many say it is clear there will be no next season) whether or not we will have a next season and if we do if we will have more than 20 masters at Nationals.

      Delete
  13. Go to Worlds...it is def. worth 1500 $

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  14. Some very wise comments. One of the main reasons, I'm still doubting whether I should go to Worlds or not, is the fact that I have been there so many times and it's not "that" special for me even though most people would love to be there and I know that I am priviledged to get the invite almost every year. One reason is also the fact that there is no deck I want to play and I have no one to playtest with any rogue decks I might have in mind. Someone already answered why Pokémon TCG is dying in Finland and that's why I don't have any players to test with either.

    But it's true that the only year I didn't win my Nationals, I got to top8 in the Worlds, so Mark's weird logic might apply! I still feel the game is a bit too luck based at the moment, so I could see my chances of top cutting even without not that much of testing.

    Maybe I should just let you guys decide on what I should play at Worlds since I have no clear favorite, lol.

    Thanks for the comments everyone! They really helped me think.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Plasma! I know many people don't like it, but it has a decent matchup against everything (except Gothitelle but I don't know if people will play that deck at Worlds) and can be teched well to your liking.

      And maybe a good showing from you at Worlds would give the TCG some good publicity in Finland and help revitalize the scene, you never know!

      Delete
    2. You know Esa,(as Alex Hill said,)if you or someone else from your country placed high in the tornament, it could bring many new players to the game, theirby added more players to the game.

      Delete
    3. you should do a vote on what to play like the playmat design contest mix your own feelings about the decks and the results to decide

      Delete
    4. Waatchloooock foooreeeever!

      No but seriously, I can see your point about the metagame has a lot of luck playing a role(starting first, drawing dead, whiffing). If you are going to worlds to win, you're best off going with one of the regulation decks like TDK(I wouldn't gamble with decks like Goth which are hit and miss in the early parts of the game on that kind of setting).

      If you give up on Worlds, Finnish TCG's future doesn't look too bright from what I can see...

      Delete
  15. Your Top8 opponent commenting here. I am perfectly okay now and it took me about five minutes after waking up from the incident to think clearly and feel normal. They kept me in the hospital for six hours even though everything was fine and actually caused discomfort for me. The hospital bed was maybe 180cm (5'11) and I am at least 184cm (6'0).. The lights were also too bright, elders were delirious and I felt so out of place and restricted while in that hospital bed. Well, hopefully this doesn't happen to me again.

    I honestly think that you would have somehow won our match even if I hadn't thrown the cards everywhere. But what has happened can't be changed, so congrats for making Top4. And since you haven't won any tournaments this year, you should get your one tournament win from Worlds. And there must be somebody you can play with if you decide to go and need a testing partner. As for your deck choice; there's time to think. With the right deck choice and some luck you should be able to win Worlds, but you shouldn't go to Worlds expecting to win because there's always some luck involved.

    And if you happened to win the Worlds, it could keep Finland's TCG afloat at least for a year or two. You could also meet some of your fans and maybe make new ones. But it really depends on what do you yourself think – is it worth it? If you think it's worth it: you should go. If you think it isn't worth it: you shouldn't go. It's as simple as that.

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  16. You should base your decision on going to worlds after a lot of thought, but my thoughts on this are that if worlds are nothing special and you don't have the money to throw around 1500$, you should not go.

    When I went to worlds in 2009 it was a great experience for me and I have longed to do it again, but for you it might have lost its magic making worlds less appealing. Another thing is that if you don't feel confident in doing well at worlds and don't want to go there just because worlds are awesome then I wouldn't go. Just think the situation over and if you do go DO NOT let us vote for your deck. That is a recipe for disaster. :pp (pretty sure you were sarcastic when you said that because of the lol, but I'm bad at detecting sarcasm).

    @ HLaihanen - Incredibly happy to hear you are okay! Great to hear that the biggest problem was being in the hospital and not anything to do with your health.

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  17. Sorry to hear things are looking so bleak in Finland's TCG!

    I feel like there is still a lot of ideas popping up - that we haven't found everything for this format yet.

    I think you should watch the development of decks, see if something shows up over the next few weeks that looks fun and decide then!

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  18. This is what you should use: Sableye+Life Dew. Works wonders, I've emailed you a decklist. As for going to worlds, you SHOULD even though it costs 1500. Think about it: the more you go to worlds, the better chance you have of winning. So be a winner, captain1!!

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  19. First of all, I think you should go as worlds sounds like an amazing experience (even if you've already experienced it a few time already =P).

    The main thing I wanted to comment on is the people saying that you doing well might revitalize the TCG in your country. Although this may very well be true, I don't think you should go to worlds for that reason. That would be a ton of pressure, and it would probably make the entire experience impossible to enjoy for you.

    Just my two cents.

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  20. So, you're telling us that the game is dying in your country, then you're wondering if it's worthy to go to worlds this year...
    What if the game dies in the following season and there are no POP sanctioned tournaments you can attend to?
    There would be no way to get the invite...
    Or do you think the game will continue to live another year?
    Well, only you can answer that.

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  21. worlds stuff is worth a lot like tropical beach

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