I posted my experiences last year and thought I would keep it a tradition and do the same. I know I love reading what other people went through and thought about VGC, so I figured why not? Anyways, here goes nothing! Introduction This is my second year attending a VGC. Last year I went to Atlanta as well and placed in the top 32 before losing to the eventual champ. I decided I wanted to try and improve my performance this year! I got started by learning the metagame pretty early on and tested several of teams on Pokemon Online. After a while I decided using Trick Room was what I wanted to do. At this point I learned to RNG (with the help from a friend at school) and got my team ready to rumble. Over the next month I made changes to my team which required more RNG'ing and some last minute changes but it all worked out. I felt confident in my team and really thought I could make a run. So without further ado, let me introduce you to my team. The Team "Subway" (Amoonguss) @ Lum Berry Trait: Effect Spore EVs: 252 HP / 128 Def / 128 SDef Relaxed Nature (+Def, -Spd) - Rage Powder - Spore - Protect - Giga Drain "Taco Bell" (Cofagrigus) @ Mental Herb Trait: Mummy EVs: 252 HP / 80 Def / 80 SAtk / 96 SDef Relaxed Nature (+Def, -Spd) - Trick Room - Shadow Ball - Destiny Bond - Protect "McDonalds" (Gigalith) @ Rock Gem Trait: Sturdy EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def Brave Nature (+Atk, -Spd) - Rock Slide - Earthquake - Explosion - Protect "Wendys" (Lvl 1 Whimsicott) @ Focus Sash Trait: Prankster EVs: None Hardy Nature - Endeavor - Protect - Taunt - Encore "BurgerKing" (Jellicent) @ Water Gem Trait: Cursed Body EVs: 252 HP / 4 Def / 252 SAtk Quiet Nature (+SAtk, -Spd) - Shadow Ball - Water Spout - Protect - Ice Beam "Bojangles" (Conkeldurr) @ Flame Orb Trait: Guts EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def Brave Nature (+Atk, -Spd) - Mach Punch - Pound (Forget to replace it with detect) - Rock Slide - Hammer Arm If you have any questions about how this team worked or about EV spreads, feel free to ask. I don't feel like going in full depth, but I'll give you a general idea of how the team worked. Assuming I didn't see another TR team, Cofagrigus was defensive enough to take hits and get TR up. The only difficulty was Amoonguss - hence I had priority taunt Whimsicott. Amoonguss could also be lead with Cofagrigus with Rage Powder which could attract the spore and Lum would activate, and after TR I could spore back. The real threats to my team were imprison (if I predicted, I could taunt) and Chandelure/Tornadus + Amoonguss. Both of which could be played around, but I would be at a disadvantage. The Trip Itself Like last year, I went with a friend of mine who enjoys battling. Except this time I wasn't stuck with my parents, yay! Anyways, after waking up at 5 in the morning, we finally reached the convention center at about 11:40. Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide Unlike last year, we both had our teams prepared (well, he had something very similar to my own with a few changes) so we wouldn't have to train while in line (you want to be ready at least a week in advance!) The convention center is beautiful. Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide We went to go park, and as I stepped outside I could smell competitive Pokemon in the air - finally all the training would pay off! (Or so I hoped) I grabbed my bag and headed over the little bridge which would take us into the building. At this point I began to feel a little nervous, but at the same time I knew I was going to have a lot of fun! After going down the elevator, we found the line and waited. Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide And received my ticket. Number 295! (That's Exploud if you are wondering, I'm superstitious about that kinda thing) Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide Next we were instructed to place everything in our battle boxes (its very straightforward.) Looking around the line, I saw the FSPL players and some other group with a Tornadus shirt. A lot of people were dressed like Ash as well! Anyways, they took groups of people at a time to go through registration. It seemed to be moving pretty efficiently! After about twenty minutes I was registered and began moving to the battle area. I could see a bunch of people sitting down and ready to battle. As I approached, I was stopped since all the seats had just been taken. Looked like I'd have to wait! Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide As I looked around the line, I realized that the person I had played first round last year was right behind my friend and I! I asked her if she recognized me and she did, so we talked about last years match (I won by a lucky parahax!) After Mike gave a powerful introduction the battles were underway!After about five minutes a few battles had been completed, meaning it was my turn! My memory of these battles is really bad, so bare with me. Round 1 vs Vincent By looking at the Team Preview I didn't see anything that looked threatening so I went with my standard Cofag + Amoon lead. He lead with Sawk and Haxorus. TR Up, followed by a bunch of sporing. Jellicent sweeped his team (which had 3 dragons!) I felt like a jerk just sporing everything and not really giving him a chance to do anything, but he was nice enough and didn't take it too seriously - GG! Round 2 vs John (?) I was asked if I wanted to play on the TV - of course I did! I gladly took my seat and waited for an opponent to come. After about 20 seconds he showed up. He seemed like a genuinely nice kid and appeared to be ~16 or so. Anyways, being on the TV I began to rush my moves and didn't think about my future moves. The kid really had me on the ropes and with a bit of prediction at the end he could have won. Luckily I was able to pull things out after a rough first half! Here's the vid of the battle: http://youtu.be/eGO1ZFIUtyU After this battle I saw Alaka playing his Round 2 match and we exchanged some words. Little did I know that the dude he was playing would make a huge run at the tourney! (More on that later) Round 3 vs Erik R. By looking at the trainer card I saw he was from NC as well! Again, my opponent seemed like a nice guy. If I remember this match correctly, he had a TR team as well (by looking at Team Preview) so I completely ditched Cofagrigus and lead Amoonguss + Whimsicott. I believe I got a Rock Slide Flinch and a Water Spout Crit that helped me win this battle much faster than I should've. GG! Round 4 vs Chris S. Team preview.. another TR Team? I never liked playing mirrors but it looked like I'd have to do it again. I don't remember that much from this match, but I do remember the ending. I was playing well and his Caracosta used Shell Break (oshi-!). Since I had Whimsi out, I encored it, then taunted it while I finished off the rest of his team. By then, he had +4 ATK and proceeded to use the most powerful struggle I have ever seen (it took about 1/2 of one of my poke's HP!) I had a 4v1, but his Caracosta had been freed from encore and was very fast with +4 ATK. Rock slide - now I'm down to 2. Good thing both of them were at full HP! With the threat of priority mach punch he could not go for another rock slide (he was in dark red HP.) He aqua jetted my Conkeldurr for the KO, but Amoonguss finished him off with Giga Drain. GG! Phew, for the second year in the row I made the finalists lounge! (Although it was not nearly as nice as I remembered it) I was the 25th person to make it out of the 29 that did. At this point I talked to my friend who I knew was dismissed first round. He showed me his battle video and was surprised he wasn't angrier. It starts fine, but some Rock Slide flinches and early wakes really hurt him. :( Video - http://youtu.be/zdafW7wEow4 After talking with my friend I sat in the finalists lounge for a bit and talked to some guys who were really cool. Five minutes later a ref dude (not Marriland) explained that 3 of us would get byes into the top 16, and the other 26 would have to battle. Seeing as I had already accomplished my goal of making the finalists lounge, I figured I had nothing to lose and was actually happy that I got to battle! As the 26 of us moved towards the battling area, I thought I was going to battle some guy in a collared Duck shirt (I believe Synre?) but it turns out someone hadn't moved all the way down. Oh, and before all that I had to go through the hack check! Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide Round 5 vs Harrison S. During the team preview I'm not quite sure what I was thinking, because his team definitely called for my Whimsi. Instead, I resorted back to what I normally did and elad with Cofag + Amoonguss - big mistake. He lead Tornadus + Amoonguss. I really had to hope he overpredicted or something, but he played pretty straitforward and beat me pretty easily. The match went all 15 minutes, but I never had much of a chance after the first turn. To make things worse, he ran a very unique Amoonguss set which caught me completely off guard. He was a very nice kid so I said GG and wished him the best of luck! He ended up finishing runner-up and had a chance to win the finals (I think he should've, but you can watch the vid for yourself). After being knocked out, I ran into Alaka and I asked what happened. He showed me his battle video and went through what happened. I recognized the Tornadus of his opponent had the same nickname of the guy who had just beat me - and it turned out we had lost to the same guy. Alaka definitely could have won his match though, luckily he already had his invites to nats. :P I wished him good luck in Indy and went off to find what my friend was doing. Turns out they had this thing you could download which let you play five matches against an AI. Depending how well you did you got a certain score and could be added to a leader-board. Pretty cool. Afterwards, I watched the finals which was a really fun match to watch! We then left and did stuff afterward which I really won't go into much detail about (nothing bad happened). I really hoped I would go farther than I did last year, but I can say that I had a great time! Can't wait to do it again next year! Now I guess I'll do the pro's and con's thing haha.. Pros - Playing some very fun and interesting matches - Being able to play on the TV - Meeting new people, all of which were nice - Not getting lost/nothing went terribly wrong - Mike actually recognized me from last year! - The whole event moved efficiently Cons - Forgetting to get pics with the inflatables and giant Pikachu! - My friend's first round loss - Letting some nerves get to me Probably a lot more I could add but I've typed enough! But before I stop, I need to give some thank yous out! Thank you to... - My friend, who drove me down and made the trip awesome - Zyxion, who sadly could not make it but we did a lot of breeding and planning together - Wolf, who helped me test my team out - Elemt, who gave me a Litwick which was extremely helpful at the time - The whole VGC Community for being awesome! Its so easy to meet people, most of which are extremely helpful - All the people I battled on PO, it helped! - Anyone who I may have forgot, please tell me!