The Pokemon Video Game Championship of San Mateo that I have been long anticipating has now ended, and now that we're back after the long and painful 14-hour drive round trip. I figured I might as well give a brief summary of what happened to, on, and from there, since it was such a wonderful experience for my very first video game championship, and my first real step into the world of competitive Pokemon battling. Unfortunately, my memory is a hazy blur, so I'll be relying on my ability to fill in the blanks. tl;dr ahead. The Journey. (Move your mouse to reveal the content) The Journey. (open) The Journey. (close) The journey of three friends who really weren't all that experienced in the Pokemon video game (one of them not even knowing what Leftovers where... who will be known as The Leftovers Kid from then on) began at around 2 AM Saturday morning, sacrificing sleep in order to get to San Fransisco early in fear or running into traffic or getting to the VGC late. We spend the last couple of hours before leaving battling against each other, frantically teaching The Leftovers Kid about the joys of Bulbapedia, and getting about two-thirds of the way through Arceus and the Jewel of Life before having to leave. With our backpacks full of sugar-coated snacks and our DSes charged and ready to go, we were off into the freezing darkness to begin our journey to become Pokemon masters. The trip to San Fransisco was unfortunately not all that eventful, but I found out later that a lot more happened than I thought, as I was asleep about 75% of the trip. My friends did manage to discover the existence of a new superhero when I was asleep though, as the appearance of Napkin Face rattled their brains when he mysteriously appeared and mysteriously vanished as they stopped by a McDonalds at around 6AM. I did wake up and find out about it eventually, and they got what was coming to them soon after. We also ended up driving in the thickest fog known to man, and cursed the fact that we didn't have the Defog HM, along with cursing at the gas prices and the lack of places to eat on our way to San Fran. We eventually made it to San Fransisco, but wasted another thirty minutes because our lovely GPS told us that the Pokemon VGC was apparently taking place inside a residential building. We stopped by a nearby Starbucks in hopes to get directions on where the hell we were supposed to be going, and we praised our right decision as a guy there not only knew where the place was, but knew why we were going (which really caught me by surprise). So when we finally arrived, it was just around 10-11, which afterward we realized wasn't all that great of an idea, since the Juniors competition wasn't really all that interesting to look at (but there were some good highlights, especially a girl who was fighting with a Slaking/Blissey lead), but we didn't really want to stand in the already present senior line just yet, so we ended up just filling out our sheets while watching the Juniors competition all the way to the semi-finals before finally deciding to get in line in fear of not making it past the cutoff point. It was still an hour before the competition, but the time passed quickly with our third friend going off to get food while me and Leftovers Kid had repeated battles with each others, as well as battling other random people after a random person joined Leftover Kid's room that he made for me. We also were in line right next to a group of people who had a Pokemon club at school, and were singing the Pokemon theme for the guys from Destructoid... I wish I could remember who they were, because they were pretty awesome people. Tat hour that seemed so long at first seemed to pass by far too quickly, as we barely got our food from the expensive as hell expo cafeteria when the line started moving. As we inched closer and closer to the entrance of the expo, I frantically looked and hosted battles to no avail, which shook me up a bit because I was really hoping to get a few more practice battles before the tournament began. As we made it inside and the matches were already under way as we were in the registration line, I began to get a bit nervous but extremely excited at the same time, because the atmosphere was incredible. I know that we said we intended to become Pokemon masters, but honestly, the only thing we promised before we leaved was that we all can at least make it past the first round. I continuously said that we probably wouldn't make it past the first round, but a promise is a promise, and I brought out my Ipod to listen to "2.B.A. Master" on loop until the long line finally reached us three. Once the quick registration began, they led us to the line that would bring us to the first zone, and our very first competitive Pokemon match. I took my first step into the first zone, and it was on.... The Team. (Move your mouse to reveal the content) The Team. (open) The Team. (close) Before I get into the matches, I suppose I should go ahead and mention my team here. I was originally planning on going to the tournament with a weather oriented team, but I ultimately decided on trying something like this, as I figured weather would be a huge player at the tournament already, and I would rather try something different and unpredictable in hopes to at least make it past the first round. Palkia @ Haban Berry Quiet Nature, Ability: Pressure 252 SpA / 252 SpD / 4 HP Draco Meteor Surf Thunder Trick Room After glancing at the entire uber list when I first decided to scrap my weather team and go for something else, I knew that Palkia would definitely be having a spot on my team. Not only does he work as a great counter to Kyogre (who I speculated would be the most common uber at the tournament), he also had the pleasure of being able to learn Trick Room. The reason why I decided to have Palkia be my Trick Roomer instead of someone standard like Dialga or Dusknoir was because I was trying to go for the surprise factor. Not many people expect Palkia to pull off a Trick Room, so I had less worries about opponents taunting Palkia and whatnot. Since he had a pretty good Speed base stat, I figured that doing everything I can to lower his speed would be the best possible course of action, especially since most others would be everything they could to make their Pokemon <i>faster</i>. The lack on needing speed EVs also meant that I was able to put EVs into Palkia's Special Defense, since I assumed that Special Attacks would be a lot more common in the tournament, meaning there was at least a 99% chance that Palkia would be pulling out Trick Room on the first turn. I wasn't honestly too fond of his moveset, but I had a really hard time thinking of something that would work for something so last minute, so I just decided to go with the above three. Draco Meteor was good for hitting anything that doesn't resist it really hard, and OHKOing any opposing Dragons that don't have a Haban Berry. Thunder was there to keep Kyogre in check, but I was contemplating going for the weaker Thunderbolt just so that Palkia can hit all water types with 100% accuracy. Surf was there for STAB and because it hits both the opponent's Pokemon. Hitmontop @ Life Orb Adamant Nature, Ability: Technician 252 Atk / 252 Hp / 4 Def Mach Punch Sucker Punch Fake Out Detect Hitmontop is a great Pokemon, and I'm definitely going to have to thank zerowing and others in the Seattle tournament for outting this Pokemon onto my radar. He works as a great lead partner with Palkia... being able to Fake Out one of the opponent's Pokemon for any even better chance to set up Trick Room, and not taking all that much damage from Surf by the chance that I needed to use it with Palkia. The beauty of Hitmontop is that he works really well both with and without Trick Room with his all priority moveset. The only real reason I was hesitant on using Hitmontop over other standard Fake Out Pokemon was because of his speed compared to other possible Fake Out leads he would be facing, but at the end of the day I figured that Hitmontop would be the best Pokemon for what I want to accomplish. Metagross @ Choice Band Brave Nature, Ability: Clear Body 252 Atk / 252 Hp / 4 SpD Bullet Punch Earthquake Hammer Arm Thunder Punch When first thinking of potential Pokemon to have on my Trick Room team, my mind immediately went to Metagross. He's not only a sturdy tank, but he hits really hard, and his terrible speed was more like a blessing under the effects of Trick Room. He works as a great replacement for Palkia after he finished using Trick Room/Draco Meteor, as Metagross would be able to take any Dragon attacks aimed at Palkia and laughing it off, while Palkia can get rid of the negative effects of using Draco Meteor, or waiting patiently in case he needed to use Trick Room again. I ended up placing Choice Band on Metagross because I needed him to hit hard, and I would lock him on to the best move that would fit the situation, switching him out if I needed to anyways. Bullet Punch was there for STAB and so Metagross wasn't completely uselss if Trick Room somehow didn't get set-up or ended. Earthquake was there to hit both opposing Pokemon that don't resist or aren't immune to it hard, while working as a good move to use when Togekiss is out as well. Hammer Arm is there for another possible painful attack, but also to slow down Metagross even more in case there were any Pokemon going before him while Trick Room was up. I had a hard time choosing between Ice Punch and Fire Punch, but I eventually went with Thunder Punch because I was already going to have Heat Wave on Togekiss, and I'd rather have a secondary way of inflicting pain on the likes of Kyogre and other water or flying Pokemon. Togekiss @ Leftovers Quiet Nature, Ability: Serene Grace 252 HP / 252 SpA / 4 SpD Air Slash Heat Wave Grass Knot Protect Togekiss has always been one of my favorite Pokemon, and she worked as Metagross' partner of sorts. Togekiss also benefitted well from Trick Room, having a great everything besides her average Speed and abysmal Attack stats. I really wasn't sure which item to put on Togekiss, so I eventually stuck Leftovers on her just to improve her tanking and overall survivability. Air Slash is there of course for the 60% chance to flinch. Heat Wave was there to smack both opponent's Pokemon, hoping to severly damage those weak to it, while also doing potentially burning them as well. Grass Knot was there to once again take care of Kyogres, but at the same time be able to damage Groudons as well. So yeah, my team was pretty much a Trick Room team, but crafted so that it worked well even if Trick Room wasn't up. Overall, I was pretty satisfied with them, so the feeling of uneasiness and ideas that I wasn't going to make it past the first round lied more on my shoulders than my Pokemon. The Matches - Part 1. (Move your mouse to reveal the content) The Matches - Part 1. (open) The Matches - Part 1. (close) Now on to the matches. I'll apologize once again because I have a terrible memory and don't remember much from them, but I'll be pointing out what I can. Round 1 Honestly, all I can remember from this match was that he lead with a Typloshion and Mewtwo, and that he also was using the Shiny Eevee that he got from the VGC himself. I didn't know if he was taking this tournament seriously or not, but I eventually beat him without any of my Pokemon getting knocked out... After that match, I was ecstatic that I actually made it past the first round, but at the same time it didn't feel like a satisfying victory at all, considering what my opponent was using. Either way, they eventually pushed me to the next zone, and I was paired up almost immediately. As we were setting up, I looked back to the previous zone and looked at my friends who just finished their matches as well with a hopeful glance, and they responded by stepping into the next zone I was in, which made me extremely happy and proudm while also boosting my confidence for this next match. Round 2 I remember the person I was playing against much more than the person, simply because he seemed a lot more nervous than I, and for the fact that he was a member (and the president too it seemed) of the Pokemon club that was next to us in line. He lead with a Dragonite and Kingdra, while I lead with my standard Palkia/Top lead. After using Fake Out on Kingdra, his Dragonite went for Palkia with Dragon Claw, which did minimal damage thanks to Haban Berry. After getting Trick Room set up, I OHKOed his Dragonite with Draco Meteor, and either did severe damage or KOed his Kingdra with Mach Punch. After that second turn though, I was pretty confident in my win, and eventually victory did come. After the match, I was once again ushered into the next zone, but this time only Leftovers Kids followed right behind me. I was sad that my second friend wasn't going to be participating anymore, but I was also proud at all three of us for even making it past the first round. At this point I felt that it was the end of the road for me, but I was happy with my experience at VGC, and knew that I would be able to walk away happy after losing in this round.</u> Round 3 This was one of my favorite matches, because my opponent was really tough, and at numerous points I really thought the match was going to end in my defeat. I did manage to pull off Trick Room, and KOed one of his lead Pokemon, but Palkia and Hitmontop were knocked out quickly afterwards, which really had me start sweating... as this was the first time I had to rely on Metagross and Togekiss. The turning point was when his Snorlax used Rest... but didn't have a berry to wake it up or Sleep Talk, which I felt was the only reason why I won this match, as it gave me the opportunity to make a comeback and come out victorious. It was a great match though, and I made sure to tell him that he was the most enjoyable and toughest opponent I fought yet. Round 4 My nerves were going absolutely crazy at this point, because I knew that if I won this one I would be headed to the famed "Finalists' Lounge" that I always admired... and I really didn't want to get my hopes on what I felt was nothing but luck so far. Once I got paired up with my opponent, that feeling that I was going to lose this round became much stronger, not only because I was intimidated by opponent himself, but also because the person battling right next to me was wearing a Ducks shirt, and I knew immediately that it meant he was from Smogon. I once again apologize because I don't remember much from this match, but all I knew is that it was another tough match, and I almost jumped for joy after winning if not for the fact that my opponent looked really sad after realizing that he wasn't going to make it to the Finalists' Lounge. I congratulated him for putting up a good fight, and immediately ran up to my friends who were watching and waiting for a reaction outside, providing them with the results of my match with actions rather than words. After that match, a lot of stress was taken off my shoulders, and I gladly soaked in the fact that I somehow became a finalist by registering myself and getting my game checked for hacks in the booth near the Lounge... and then immediately jumping on the unoccupied giant red beanbag that was in there. After taking a celebratory picture for the memories, we decided to continue our celebration by heading out of the convention center to get some drinks since $3.00 for a soda in the tournament site was a pretty funny joke that wasn't funny. The Matches - Part 2. (Move your mouse to reveal the content) The Matches - Part 2. (open) The Matches - Part 2. (close) As we celebrated at a nearby Quiznos, I talked about how I can now get knocked out of the tournament with honor, and also spoke to them about the "Smogon Ducks" that we treated as some kind of urban legend, and we were going to keep our eye out for them when we returned to the convention site. We got back around 3:50 so I wouldn't be late for the gathering of the finalists, and we got back in just in time to watch the final match of the prelimminary rounds. I didn't finish watching it however, as I decided to hang out at the Finalists' Lounge until the Finals were ready to begin. As the Lounge began to fill up, I didn't really converse with anyone, as I was still trying to accept the fact that I got this far. Once everyone was gathered, at 4:15, they gave us a prep talk, and told them that since we had 29 Finalists, and were going to be handing out three free passes to the Top 16 and an invitation to the Nationals with the drawing of Pokemon cards. I wasn't lucky enough to get a freebie, so I was lined up with everyone else who didn't get one back at the battle zone, and it was there that the final officially began. They had us introduce ourselves one by one, and it was then that I found out the guy standing next to me was from Corona too, which automatically got us friendly with each other, joking about the long car trip here and whatnot. Round 5 - The Top 32 They began to escort us down the battle zones, pairing us up in a randomly unrandom matter. As I watched them hype up the crowd for the matches that would eventually determine the Champion of San Mateo, Ithey eventually paired me up with my newfound friend, and I smiled knowing that I couldn't as for anything more. Before the match started, we both told each other than regardless of who wins or loses this, at least someone from Corona is getting into the Top 16. I once again could not remember this match for the life of me, but it was beyond any match that I had in the preliminaries (both in difficulty and in fun). It was a match that felt like eternity, but I eventually got the victory, and I almost fell over after realizing that this victory won me an invitation to the nationals (and I probably would have fallen over if it wasn't for the fact that I was sitting). We shook hands after the match, and he told me to "go all the way" before I was escorted to the zone where the top 16 would be competing. A few people already won their matches and were already underway, so they wasted no time pairing me up for my sixth match in the tournament. Round 6 - The Top 16 vs. TAY My confidence shattered after I saw who I was facing... just because the t-shirt he was wearing just had to have a damn duck on it. I was hoping that I never had to fight a Duck throughout this whole tournament, but I suppose it was inevitable at this point now that I was this far in the tournament. Despite knowing that he led with Groudon and Zapdos, as well as knowing that the ending of the matched relied on the chance that Zapdos could stall out Trick Room was constantly protecting, I don't remember this match all too well either. Thankfully, TAY wrote what he remembered about the match (which was much more than what I do) over here so all I'll say is that once his Zapdos sccessfully Protected a second time in a row during the very, the feeling of confidence that I had this match in the bag was quickly replaced by a feeling of nervousness, and my breath was held when his turn came up for the third time, knowing full well that he would be crazy enough to go for a third Protect in a row... which ended up not happening. It was a great match, and it was really tense yo. Round 7 - The Top 8 I remember this one perfectly considering that this match was the one I saved in the Vs. Recorder (and will put up on Youtube eventually), and because I suppose it could be considered the most important match in the tournament for me. Why? Because if I won this match somehow, that would mean that I would be going back home to Corona with a DSi to show the kids (and this is most definitely a figure of speech) without having to $189 for one. Not sure who it was I fought, but he had a very "Smogon" air about him, so I hope I figure out who he is soon, because it was a really fun and exciting match. Turn 1: I started off with my standard Palkia and Hitmontop, while he led with Abomasnow and Mewtwo. Fearing for Hitmontop's life with Mewtwo more than Abomasnow, I went to Fake Out Mewtwo while setting up Trick Room with Palkia. He read me like a book of course, and switched out Mewtwo for Metagross, making Fake Out pointless while doing crap damage to Metagross. Abomasnow then used Blizzard which did barely any damage on Palkia while putting Hitmontop in the yellow. Palkia then set up Trick Room, which would make these next five turns very interesting. Turn 2: For the first time however, I quite regretted Trick Room now that his Metagross was out on the field, but I figured I would manage somehow. I used Mach Punch with Hitmontop and Draco Meteor with Palkia and aimed them both at Abomasnow, going for a surefire kill. It was not to be though, as Abomasnow protected himself from any damage, making my second turn completely useless, while his Metagross Hammer Armed my Palkia to death. Turn 3: I was a bit shaken up, but I still felt I had a chance to make a comeback so long as Togekiss was here, so she was sent out to replace Palkia. I used Detect with Hitmontop because I needed to keep him alive as long as possible to combat with Mewtwo, while I used Heat Wave for the first time in the tournament with Togekiss (how convenient that it was like the two best Pokemon to use Heat Wave against too. Metagross had an Occa Berry on him, so he only took enough damage to get to yellow while Abomasnow survived with a Focus Sash equipped. The beautiful thing however, was that <i>both</i> of them managed to get burned from Heat Wave, making me secretly jump for joy inside, as now Abomasnow would be hitting the dust and Metagross' offensive capabilities would be hindered. His Abomasnow used Ice Shard on Hitmontop, who was safe with Detect, and his Metagross used Rock Slide, which only brought Togekiss down to yellow. As the turn ended, his Abomasnow waved goodbye, and I breathed a sigh of relief, regaining a bit of confidence. Turn 4: He sent out Mewtwo to replace Abomasnow, and I knew it was Mewtwo's time to shine. As I was about to Sucker Punch Mewtwo to death, I hesitated and rethought my options. With Metagross at about 25% health, I figured it would be better to finish him off now, as I was worried more about Togekiss than Hitmontop at this point because we were still in Trick Room. I chose to Mach Punch Metagross instead of Sucker Punching him, hoping that the Technician boost plus the STAB should be enough to take him out (he sadly survived with 1 HP, but it all worked out well since the hail would finish him off at the end of the turn), and I used Air Slash on Mewtwo, hoping for that flinch (which happened). After his Metagross got knocked out and his Mewtwo got brought down to about 50% health, I knew that his last Pokemon would be making or breaking this game for me. Turn 5: He brought out Kyogre to replace Metagross, and I knew I now had complete control of this match. Leaving Mewtwo be once again, I focused all my attention on Kyogre, knowing that his Water Spout would be the death of me. Knowing that having Togekiss just use Grass Knot on Kyogre wouldn't be enough to take the beast down, so I had Hitmontop help her out by Mach Punching Kyogre first, guaranteeing a KO once it was Togekiss' turn to shine. After Kyogre fell, his Mewtwo took out the remainder of Hitmontop's HP (which wasn't all that much thanks to repeated damage from Life Orb the whole match). Turn 6: It was over. Even without Hitmontop to take him out with Sucker Punch, I already knew this match was under my belt, and I couldn't believe this turnabout. I sent out Metagross to finish the job, Bullet Punching the already weakened Mewtwo to secure my place in the Top 4 of San Mateo, as well as a shiny new DSi. Really, if I wasn't standing in front of hundereds of people at that point and time, I probably would have just let loose and jumped for joy after that match, because I was so proud of myself and excited. Looking over at my friends at the sidelines, they nervously looked in anticipation for the results. I simply gave them a thumbs up, and they jumped in excitement for me. I felt great, but my legs also felt like jelly, so I really just wanted to sit down and calm my nerves, enjoying in the fact that I <i>somehow</i> made it this far. Thankfully, the battles to determine the other two combatants in the Top 4 were taking quite a long time, so I took that opportunity to plop down on the floor, while sending strange texts to my friends in the sidelines, making sure to tell them that yes... my legs do feel like jelly. The victors were eventually decided, and I was paired up with a guy named Eric. Round 7: The Top 4 vs. Eric Unfortunately a match I remember nothing about, but a tough opponent nonetheless. We both fought well, but I eventually somehow secured a place in the final match. So it came down to that. Before the day of the tournament, and before the tournament even began, three good friends who just loved Pokemon made a promise, and it was simply just to make it past the first round of our first even competitive Pokemon tournament. Even though that promised was held between them, as the time for the tournament began, I felt that I wouldn't be able to uphold that promise. Wether it was just out of nervousness, or the lack of faith for my ability as a Pokemon trainer, I kept telling them and myself that I wouldn't make it past the first round and disappoint them all as well as myself. Those were the thoughts that ran through my mind as I now waited for the match that determined who my opponent in the finals would be, and it made me laugh, thinking how ironic it is that I made it all the way to the finals with such a negative attitude and with zero experience under my belt. As I watched the last two players compete (one had a duck shirt, and one did not... but it didn't matter at this point, as I figured whoever it would be would be the toughest battle yet), I got constantly bombarded with handshakes and congratulations by the people who ran the tournament, which made me uneasy, but also help to confirm that this indeed wasn't a dream. Eventually the smoke cleared, and the Duck came out victorious. With that, they escorted me down to where he was waiting, and the building of the final match began. I was nervous, I was beyond nervous even... because I knew that I have been hiding in the shadows this whole tournament, and this would be the first match that would be televised (and for some reason, I kept telling myself that this match would end up on Youtube), and the cameraman constantly flashing his camera in front of face as I was trying to not show any signs of nervousness on my face as I was setting up my team didn't help. However, one handshake from the Duck himself calmed me, and I knew that win or lose, I would be walking away from this thing with my head up high. Round 8 - The Top 2 vs. Duy The match can be watched here, so I will just give a rundown on what happened each turn... Turn 1: I led with Palkia and Hitmontop, while Duy brought out Groudon and Cresselia. I didn't know much about Cresslia, only that she was a threat to Hitmontop, so I decided to use Fake Out on her first, while setting up Trick Room with Palkia. I did a mental high five to myself after seeing his Groudon Protect, as I knew I made the right decision. Hitmontop smacked Cresselia with Fake Out, preventing her from doing anything, and Palkia successfully set up Trick Room. Despite all the yells of surprise that the crowd let out after Palkia used Trick Room, I knew that everything has gone according to plan so far. Turn 2: Still fearing Cresselia more than Groudon, I decided to gang up on her with a Sucker Punch from Hitmontop and a Draco Meteor from Palkia, hoping that would be enough to take her out. To my horror, Cresselia used Helping Hand, which was something I wasn't expecting at all in the tournament. Hitmontop failed in his Sucker Punching attempts because of it, and to make matters worse... Palkia's Draco Meteor missed as well. Groundon let out a fearsome Earthquake, which Palkia and Hitmontop both survived... but just barely. Turn 3: With that fearsome blow shaking up my nerves, and the constant commentating and reactions from the crowd muddling my mind, it was at this point that I couldn't think straight, and began to make a lot of mistakes. I Detected with Hitmontop in fear of another Earthquake, and went for Groudon with a Draco Meteor one more time. Unfortunately, his Groudon also Protected, which made Draco Meteor completely useless, while Cresselia used Icy Wind that affected Palkia only... which did very little damage, but also lowered his speed (which in this case is a good thing for now). Turn 4: It was at this point that it was obvious that my brain had turned into soup. I used Mach Punch on Groudon instead of switching him out or attempting another Sucker Punch against Cresselia, but it did minor damage at the cost of Hitmontop's life. Was in a pointless sacrifice, it could have been, but at the same time, it could have damage Groudon just enough so that Palkia could score a KO with my third attempt at Draco Meteor, and once again give me a chance at a victory here... Except for the fact that Draco Meteor missed again. Palkia has missed twice, and got blocked by Protect once. Three strikes and I'm out? You're damn right I am. With Palkia now a sitting duck, Cresselia and Groudon easily finish it off with Icy Wind and Earthquake, meaning that I was down 2 Pokemon while barely leaving a scratch on his. Turn 5: I sent out Togekiss and Metagross as my final two Pokemon against this fierce foe. I already knew that victory wasn't going to be mine this time around, but I managed to get out of corners that were a lot scarier than this one throughout the tournament, so there was a tiny part of me that was thinking there was stil a tiny chance of a turnabout. Togekiss was the Pokemon I was relying on especially, as I had her try out Grass Knot on Groudon while deciding to lock Metagross onto Bullet Punch to weaken Groudon just enough, and because I knew Trick Room was going to end pretty soon. Both of his Pokemon Protected though, making it a dead turn. I assumed he assumed Metagross was going to explode, so it was a safe call on his part. Turn 6: Trick Room was over, so I would like to thank my soupy brain that for some reason I thought Togekiss was going to move before Groudon, thus thinking that he would switch Groudon out in fear of Grass Knot, thus why I had both of my Pokemon go after Cresselia this turn. Oh look, Helping Hand. Oh look, Earthquake. Oh look, OHKO on Metagross......... oh fuck. Turn 7: It was Togekiss versus the World (read: four Pokemon), and as much as I love her, even I didn't believe in her chances of bringing a victory back home to Corona. After taking one Fire Punch and one Icy Wind for the team, she used her trump card Grass Knot on Groudon, finally taking out one of his Pokemon, and making sure the Final Match wasn't going to be a clean sweep, thus saving some of my pride in the process. Togekiss is such a thoughtful creature. ;_; Turn 8: Abomasnow came out to replace Cresselia, which was just the nail on the coffin. After one Blizzard that cannot miss, it was game over for me. And thst was it. With the roar of appluse echoing throughout the hall at the match's end, I knew that I helped create the newest Pokemon Master rather than becoming the Master himself. Was I angry? Yes. Was I sad? Yes. Was I disappointed? Yes. Were all these feelings towards Duy? Not at all. I was definetely proud of both myself and Duy, as well as happy that Smogon got another victory under their wings. What I was sad, angry, and disappointed about was the fact that I didn't pull off a fight worthy of being called the final match. Really, if it wasn't for Togekiss, the match would have been a clean sweep, and it just doesn't seem fitting and proper for a "final match", especially with the hosts and Marriland himself dubbing it an "amazing match". Simply put, with all the intense battles I had on the road to the final itself, I feel as if the show I put on just wasn't up to what Duy and the crowd was expecting, which makes my credibility even worse because it was the only match of mine that was televised, but what can you do? But what can you do? At the end of the day, it was because I lacked the experience, and Duy was simply just a better trainer than I, so congrats to you Duy, and I hope you make it far in the Nationals. I would like to battle you again someday day though, official or not, just so I can get my sweet revenge. ;) So the awards ceremony was immediately after the match, and I got my DSi along with some rad picture taking with Pikachu and the other three members of the Elite 4. After all the shizzaz and paperwork was done, I went back to the people who were with me the whole way throughout this journey, and heard nothing but praise and approval from my two best friends, as we headed off to the nearest In-n-Out to celebrate the fact that all three of us did indeed keep our promise to each other. But not before I got friendly with the Johto starters, while picking a fight with them after they evolved. The Aftermath. (Move your mouse to reveal the content) The Aftermath. (open) The Aftermath. (close) So yeah, I might have added a bit too much drama to the whole story, but that's what happens when you don't sleep for at least 24 hours. I had an amazingly fun time, and the intensity of the battles and awesome people really rekindled my love for Pokemon to the point where I think that it will last forever. It was so fun that my friend I really can't just wait another year, and are making plans to possibly head over to the VGC happening in Arizona this week, which could also help for my trip to nationals... as a poor, jobless asian like myself will need much more than the $300 reimbursement I got from being in the Top 4 in order to get to the Nationals. I'm really hoping to meet more cool people there as well, as aside from the final match, my only regret was that I didn't really interact with many other trainers besides my Corona companion. And as I now sit here in front of my computer at 12 AM, with a huge amount of sleep I need to catch up with, I will just post the final thoughts in my head before passing out. After rewatching the video, I just now noticed that Cresselia is named "Patty Cakes", which is a pretty brutal hint that I never really caught on to for some reason... damn you Duy, you clever bastard. I'm also now thinking, "hey... if you can't beat em, join em", so it looks like I'll finally be making that Smogon account instead of lurking all the damn time. Oh, and this is my first post in Smogon. Nice to meet ya'll.