ONWARD, CANADA, TO VICTORY! Quote Files: #1 "Noob skarm, you can set Running Shoes on permanent." "You can set text speed to fast, you know." "Really? Since when?" "Oh, since Red and Blue..." ~Future World Champion Ray Rizzo and I exchange secret advice at US Nationals in Indianapolis Worlds 2010 in Kona, HI First off I will say that I was extremely impressed by the way TPCI put on Worlds. It was a great venue, albeit a little large, and their staff were excellent. My wife and I had a wonderful trip and I had a great time with competitors and the staff such as Nick McCord, Mike Liesek (who should join Team Mike!), and Marriland, all weekend. Thank you again everyone for making this event the most enjoyable. I went into Worlds as the sole competitor from Canada. As such I had the weight of the national on my shoulders even more so than those competitors like Rees and Dale from the UK, or the Spaniards. The only person to share the weight of an entire nation was Adrien, aka Froggy25 on Smogon, who was the sole competitor from France. Unfortunately I didn't do as well as I was hoping: I came 19th out of a field of around 40, I believe, including those who were disqualified and/or dropped. However, this was still not terrible by any means. This truly was a difficult event to do well in and not everyone could. Kudos to everyone who attended and played. It was an excellent competition. Most other warstories have already been posted so I will skip a lot of the smaller, outside of battle, details so I am not repeating everything that had been said. To start off, I will typically refer to people by their first name and give online names in parenthesis one time only. The only exception is OmegaDonut, who will be known as Suleski to avoid confusion. He is a master strategist and part of Team Mike so beware! The journey to Hawaii for my wife and I began early in Saskatoon. We had to wake up at 3am, and of course being dumb I decided to pull an all nighter believing it would be easier. It wasn't. At 5:30 AM we departed on a flight to Denver, where we had to wait for 3 hours before boarding our 7 and a half our flight to Honolulu. Then we waited for two hours and finally hopped islands to Kona, and then took a half hour car ride to the resort. Nearing the resort I called my roommate, Suleski, and asked where he was. He said he'd meet me in the lobby. PLEASE NOTE ANYONE WHO SAID THEY'D BE IN THE LOBBY ALL WEEKEND WAS NEVER THERE. Eventually we made it to the resort and had to track Suleski and his girlfriend Lauren down in Chris Tsai (Halordain)'s room. Chris gave me some excellent gifts from his recent trip to Kyoto including awesome Japanese Pokemon Merchandise! Thanks once again Chris. It was good to see you again. While Chris battled himself to decide what version of his team to use in LCQ, my wife Kristy got to slowly know some of the nerds I hang out with online. Thankfully, Kristy is a nerd herself so this was not a huge culture shock. Kristy and I were starving, and Suleski, Lauren, and Chris already ate, so we waited until Judd Price (Kongler) arrived with his car to take us out for dinner. We drove randomly around, stopped for directions once, and ended up in a little rockin' place called the Harbour Grill or what have you off the beaten path. After a great meal we headed back to the hotel where I introduced Kristy to most of the crowd who were in the lobby practicing battles and arm-wrestling with the Spanish guys, Ruben, and Albert, while Mario (Kefka) looked on. After a while we went to bed -- tomorrow would be the first day of Pokemoning, and that meant LCQ (we mean it this time!) for several of our competitors: Dan Levinson (dtrain), Erik Tarbell (FMasamune), Thomas Mifflin (PokemonBattleBrain), Daniel Nolan (Zog), Len Deuel (Alaka)'s dad, Suleski, Lauren, Chris, and Grace Beck. And Jesus Ninahaza. I almost forgot Jesus. LCQ was the first glimpse many of us had of how good the competition would be. In addition to those listed above, the Arnold family had come to compete as well since their daughter Gracie had an invite in the Junior division. Add to this we were surprised and I was a little disappointed. I had suspected there would be a lot of Japanese players attending LCQ, but it seems (as we learned later) they wanted to play TCG instead and get more for their money. Fair enough. However, there was one Japanese player wearing a "Team Kusanagi - Japan" shirt with a silhouette of Kazuyuki Tsuji with his Empoleon and Toxicroak screaming "KAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!". It turned out this was Takushi Morishima, from Osaka, who had placed Top 8 at Worlds last year. He went by the online nickname T.DOM and was a very nice happy guy. Things didn't started out overly well unfortunately. Dan almost lost to a Hippowdon/Bronzong lead, but won BARELY in the end. T.DOM, we got to see on the big screen, destroyed Danny Bryan in Round 1 with an awesome team of Groudon, Rotom-C, Kyogre, and Lanturn. Yes. Lanturn. He was badass. Also in Round 1 Ninahaza defeated Alaka's dad. Round 2 Chris lost to Erik, and Jesus defeated Grace, eliminating most of the people we were watching. Dan sneaked past as did most of the Arnold family. Round 3. Dan lost to T.DOM unfortunately, Glenn Arnold squeaked out a win against Sandman from Smogon, and Zog lost to Mrs. Arnold (Linda). Suleski lost to Winter's Zombie. Overall, the following people qualified: Glenn Arnold Ryan Arnold Linda Arnold Thomas Mifflin Jesus Ninahaza Erik Tarbell Takushi Morishima Evan Falco Daniel Miller Not a bad field if I do say so myself! Friday evening was eventful, but most people, like Huy, have covered it. I gave Evan Falco, whose real name is Alex, a team to use as he was a TCGer that just happened to be killing time. We also got a few practice battles in against three of the Japanese players who had wandered down to the lobby. These were Shuuta, Naoto, and one I did not play or remember. I believe there are only two of the Japanese players I never really 'met' or played against the entire weekend. Quote Files: #2 "CAN ANYONE TELL US WHERE TO GET A POFFIN CASE?!" ~Thomas Mifflin in the Side Events Room at Worlds in Kona Oh yeah. We also tried to make Poffin. Anyway, Saturday. Game time. My team is as follows: Mewtwo "Abeloth" [Life Orb/Choice Specs/Choice Scarf] Modest -Blizzard -Grass Knot -Substitute -Protect Thanks, Ditto Abomasnow "Zollner" [Sitrus Berry/Chople Berry/Life Orb/Choice Specs/Choice Scarf/Iron Ball] Quiet -Blizzard -Grass Knot -Hidden Power Fire -Protect Thanks, Andrea Dialga "ViaMagicka" [Choice Specs/Choice Scarf/Chople Berry/Iron Ball] Modest -Draco Meteor -Flamethrower -Earth Power -Blizzard Thanks, Suleski Blissey "Molly Nut" [Chople Berry/Sitrus Berry] Calm -Seismic Toss -Toxic -Softboiled -Protect Thanks, Suleski Giratina "Myotis" [Sitrus Berry/Choice Scarf] Careful -Thunder Wave -Tail Wind -Dragon Claw -Shadow Force Thanks, Huy Metagross "Magitek" [Iron Ball/Choice Scarf/Sitrus Berry] Jolly -Trick -Meteor Mash -Hammer Arm -Explosion Round 1: Duy Ha Duy! :( I was hoping for a match not against one of my friends or fellow Mighty Psyducks, but apparently that just wasn't in the cards. I lead Mewtwo and Abomasnow both games and proceeded to unleash cold Canadian Blizzard fury on his Jumpluff and Groudon. I quickly swept Duy the first game. Game 2 I decided that Duy would likely try to keep sun this game, and thus Iron Balled my Abomasnow. I went with Mewtwo and Abomasnow again, and Substituted in Sleep Powder's face. I won again. Sorry Broseph! 1-0 Round 2: Ryo Tajiri (Japanese National Champion) To be honest I wanted to play Ryo. I felt my team, especially with Substitute Mewtwo, would take down his Sheer Cold Suicune and Dark Void non-Scarf Smeargle without problem. However... Ryo lead Azelf and Giratina. Alright. I said to myself right away: "He won't explode. He's too smart for that." So I tried to Blizzard with Abomasnow while I subbed with Mewtwo. And took an Azelf explosion to the face killing both Pokemon. FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF. I brought in Specs Dialga and Blissey, and proceeded to slowly come back. He had Kyogre and Suicune in the back, but I managed to squeek out a victory. Barely. At one point I had to Draco Meteor his Giratina's Substitute and Toxic immediately after. I managed it, Ryo was surprised. I finished this match struggling with Giratina and praying to Arceus that Sheer Cold would keep missing Blissey. Game 2 I then decided to bring in Scarf Metagross and Giratina as my leads since I would be faster than his Azelf, and, frankly, he wouldn't be able to explode. Guess what? I forgot to put Scarf on Metagross, and instead had Iron Ball, and he lead Smeargle and Suicune. After outspeeding Careful Giratina and putting both my Pokemon to sleep, I got destroyed. F. Game 3 is the video I kept on my Vs. Recorder. The battle number is: 38-43201-63475. While you will see from below that I did win, it was a good match nonetheless. 2-0 Round 3: Isao Yoshioka (Eventual 6-0 Swiss and Semifinalist) Isao was a very good natured and respectful opponent. I believe he took pictures with all his opponents that day and was extremely humble even after going 6-0. I do not, unfortunately, remember much of these battles. I remember with Mewtwo/Abomasnow I handily smoked him in Game 1 and was feeling quite high. In Game 2 his Groudon, which was Banded, survived with 1-2 HP and allowed him to win. In Game 3 my hat goes off to him. His Cresselia and 60% Groudon vs. my Dialga and Blissey. He has TR up. He Helping Hand Earthquakes (Life Orb boosted) and KOs both. My final Pokemon: Iron Ball Abomasnow. Perfect! Except... Groudon protects, he reverses his own TR, and then HH Rock Slides me. Damn slick. I give Isao full kudos for this one. 2-1 Round 4: Naoto This match sucked. It was not Naoto's fault, but maaaaaaaaaaaan. I lead Mewtwo and Abomasnow against his Kyogre and Cresselia. I swapped Mewtwo for Blissey as he Helping Hand Waterspouted. It criticalled both Blissey and Abomasnow, killing the latter. I brought in Dialga, and watched as he criticalled Blissey again, and my Draco Meteor missed Kyogre. Another turn later and I had lost. Dang. Game #2 started with me leading the same thing, and switching Mewtwo for Blissey turn 1 as Abomasnow protected. Blissey took a critical, and then turn 2 he criticalled both. Seriously. Maaaaaan. I ended up losing in the quickest best of 3 set ever and there was nothing I could have done. Round 5: Len Deuel Len has my number. I hate him. Not really, but now I generally never want to play him again! In Game 1 I Deagle'd him. That is, he had Kyogre and Mewtwo vs. Blissey which I won with Toxic stall much like he won against Deagle at Nationals in the semifinals. Then Len got ANGRY. Game 2 ended up taking up the entire time limit with our Blissey vs. Blissey, Toxic, in Hail, stall war. Because Len won this match we had to do something unprecedented in VGC history: SUDDEN DEATH. This means whomever lost a Pokemon first would lose. Uh oh. Len had priority moves, Fake Out, and I had neither... Turn 1 of Sudden Death Len's Hitmontop critical hits my Dialga and kills it. Wonderful. 2-3 Round 6: Jesus Ninahaza Game 1 we ended up at a Blissey vs. Blissey stall war again and I started to hate life. It had been a long day and I didn't have patience for it! When Jesus won, we decided that to finish the best of three in time we'd put into effect Blissey clause: No more Blissey. Of course, this actually worked in my favor: I had a lot of powerful special attackers (Mewtwo, Dialga, and Abomasnow) where as Jesus didn't have much to stand up against them without his own Blissey. I came back in the series and won games 2 and 3. 3-3 for 19th. It was a good run. I hope to do better next year. The bar has been set for all future competitors from Canada: Do better than a 50% Win percentage or get higher than 19th at Worlds. I know we can do it! I will not report what has been reported countless times. Go MSankey! See you all next year!