After going 5-3 at the Pleasanton Regionals, but my brother getting first in Juniors, I knew that I had to step my game up if I wanted to do well at Nats. Unfortunately, school was really stressing me out and I didn't really get the chance to prepare. I only had about 2 weeks of practice with my team, which I eventually scrapped two days before in favor of Huy's Team Drifblim. I felt it worked much better than my previous team and I did pretty well with it before. I was looking forward to it. June 29th Stayed up the night before talking to my girlfriend, I was feeling pretty good about everything. My little brother had two byes, and I told him that the only person he needed to worry about was Babbytron. I had made no adjustments to his team so I was a little worried. As for my team, I had completely scrapped it in favor of Huy's team, with some slight adjustments. I replaced Shedinja with Zapdos and put Stone Edge on Virizion in place of Light Screen. I got up at 2:30 and got dressed. On hand: -iPod -Android tablet -Notecards and pen (I wanted to make sure that I had super detailed battle descriptions this time) -Stuffed shark for companionship -Deodorant I was pumped, excited, and ready to go. I wasn't even that scared of losing, since the trip itself was looking to be a helluva fun time. I was really looking forward to meeting all the other Smogonites. I swore to myself I wouldn't be scared like I was at the Pleasanton regionals. We left at around 3 to SFO and got on the plane to Denver at around 5. We arrived to Denver at 9, had breakfast, and sat around for a bit. The plane ride to Indy was awful though. The first two hours were fine, but once we got near the city there was HUGE turbulence. Every plane ride I've been in has been smooth and easy, so I was pretty shaken up >_> We couldn't even land the first time, we were practically on the runway then we took off again. Luckily we landed, and then we started the journey to the hotel and the convention center. We got to the convention center, registered without a hitch, and left. I think I recognized a few people, but I couldn't really tell. I got to the hotel and started giving my little brother a pep talk, explaining the more intricate parts of his strategy and what he was probably gonna see. I told him that the only thing he really had to worry about was Babbytron. We went swimming and then went to Steak 'n' shake. After staying up for a while I fell asleep. June 30th I woke up at 6:30, got ready, and left to the convention center at 8. My family: (Sister, me, sister, Gerry, brother) Battle 1: The guy sent out Porygon-2 and Tyranitar. I sent out Sableye and Drifblim. I used Fake out on Ttar and Acrobatics on Porygon. It took about 25% of it's health. Porygon used Thunderbolt on Drifblim. Critical hit. Fuck pokemon. Drifblim does down. I send out Heatran. I use WoW on Porygon because fuck you Porygon. Probably shoulda used it on Heatran. I Earth power Ttar, does less than half. By this time I knew I was gone for. The hax in this game were awful though. Will-O-Wisp kept missing, Heat Wave missed, Virizion and Heatran both got paralyzed and couldn't move, it was awful. He finished with Metagross and Togekiss. After this battle I was bummed, but I told myself that I couldn't lose anymore. I saw Drifblim and went to talk to him, and then he directed me toward the rest of the seniors. I didn't get the chance to talk to them though because the pairings went up. Battle 2: Snake My second battle was against Snake. I was pretty nervous, as I had no idea how I would fare against him. He sent out Ludicolo and Salamence, I sent out Sable/Drif. I KO'd Ludi with Acrobatics and FO'd Sala. He sent out Volcarona, protected as I tried to Acrobatics it. Then Salamence Draco Meteors me. It crits and Drifblim once again goes down. I sent out Heatran and he sent out Hitmontop. I Earth Powered Volc and switched a lagging tail onto it, taking his Bug Gem. He uses Bug Buzz on Sable and I lose about 50%. This next turn was crazy. He sent out Sala again, Heatran protects, I taunt Volc, thinking he was going to Quiver Dance, and instead he uses Overheat. And it misses. The next turn Salamence protected and Overheat hit Sable, KOing it. I send out Virizion. Sala Flamethrowers Vizizion, taking about 40%. Then Heatran Dragon Pulses Sala, KOing it. Volc Overheats Virizion, leaving it with about 20%. Sitrus berry kicks in, and he sends out Top. I double protect, Top tries to CC Heatran. Next turn I Stone Edge Volc, KOing it, and Earth Power Top, leaving him with about 35%. He CCs Heatran, finishing it off. All that's left is my Virizion and his top, both of which are at equal health. I Leaf Blade, and the high crit ratio kicks in, KOing him. Good game man, I'm sorry you had to lose to me, but at least you went 6-2 and made top cut. After this battle I went up to Lucien. He's pretty much the coolest guy I've met on Smogon and I'm so glad we were able to meet up and talk and hang. Battle 3: This battle was pretty easy. I send out Sable/Drif, he sends out Mienshao and Clefable. Mien uses Payback on Drif, and Clef uses Follow me. I use Acrobatics on Clef. Now, I didn't think another packback would KO me, since my health was still in the green. But the next turn Payback brings my Drifblim down. But luckily I was able to Acrobatics Clefable to death beforehand. He sends out Aron, and, thank god, I sent out Cloyster. One quick icicle spear later Aron was out. I WoW Mienshao as it tries to Brick Break my Sableye. :naughty: Then he sends out Amoonguss, Icicle Spear. Next turn, Icicle Spear. GG Mienshao. Battle 4: Cloyster/Sableye vs. Ampharos and Amoonguss This battle was pretty fun. Amoonguss Rage Powders, and then FO activates its Eject Button. So I start Icicle Spearing a Steelix, doing about no damage. Ampharos T-Waves my Cloyster. I WoW Steelix and send in Heatran. Then Ampharos Discharges, PARALYZING HEATRAN AND SABLEYE. I Earth Power Ampharos because fuck you Ampharos. Sable can't move. Luckily he was able to avoid the past two Dragon Tails Steelix was sending his way though. I protect and trick a lagging tail onto Amph. I get an Exp. Share. :evan: Dragon Tail finally hits, Cloyster is sent out. He KO's Amph with Icicle Spear and Heat Wave takes care of Steelix. Amoonguss and Garchomp are sent out. Icicle Spear KOs Chomp, but not before his EQ gets rid of Heatran. Giga Drain takes care of Cloyster. So all thats left is Virizion and Amoonguss. Sacred Sword x20, GG. Battle 5: This guy didn't want me to take notes, but he went down easily. Ran a standard TR team, and he managed to get it up. He used Amoonguss and Jellicent, so I KO'd Amoonguss with Acrobatics. TR goes up, he sends in Conkeldurr. Acrobatics KO's Conkeldurr. I Sucker Punch Jellicent, switch Sable to Virizion. I finish with Leaf Blades and Acrobatics against his Reuniclus. Battle 6: I didn't really think this guy was going to be a problem. He didn't know what Smogon was and he was running a standard rain team. But then he said he was Cybertron's friend >_> I send out Drif and Sable, with Zapdos and Virizion in the back, and he sends out Kingdra and Ludi. Ludi Ice Beams me, Acrobatics KOs it. He sends in Politoed. I Destiny Bond, Ice Beam takes out both of us. Meanwhile Kingdra Dragon Pulses Sable, KOing me, but I was able to Trick a Lagging Tail onto it. By this time I realized I shouldn't have brought in Zapdos and should have brought in Heatran. He sends out Toxicroak. I can't really touch either of them. I took down Kingdra with a boosted T-Bolt but then he went down. Toxicroak KO's Virizion with Poison Jab. GG. So I'm 4-2. I know that if I just win my last two battles I'll be top cut, but I was nervous. Battle 7: Standard TR. He had Hariyama/Chandelure/Gastrodon/Metagross. I went Sable/Drif/Heatran/Virizion. He went down without a hitch. Battle 8: Me and Red Striker. He's all the way to the right, with the cornrows. This battle was freaking awesome. Although I should have predicted better, I'll always remember this battle. We were both 5-2 and extremely nervous. Then I learned that I was facing Red Striker, whom I battled pretty much every day on PO. I had no idea he was in Seniors. We both lost and won against each other, so I had no idea how this would go down. It's my Sableye and Drifblim against his Staraptor and Raikou. I FO Raikou, and he switches Staraptor to Politoed. Acrobatics leaves him with about 1 HP. Drif protects, and I send out Virizion. Raikou uses Thunder on Virizion, doing about 40%. I Sucker Punch Raikou, but he switches to Scizor and Staraptor. I Acro Scizor and switch to Heatran. He Brave Birds Heatran, and Scizor Acrobatics Drif. CRITICAL HIT FMFLMFLFMMFLFMLFMFLMFLFML. I was done. I send out Sable and FO Staraptor, but he switches to Politoed and switches Scizor to Raikou. Heatran protects. I tricked a lagging tail onto Politoed, because what else was I gonna do >_> But Weather Ball from Raikou KOs Heatran. Virizion goes in, he switches to Staraptor, and Brave Bird finishes me off. GG man. If there's one person I would have liked to lose to, it would be you. EDIT: I think this makes our battle both a little more epic and a little more disappointing for me. I saved this a loong time ago. Isn't fate artistic? I'm Jet btw. I later learned that both Snake and Red Striker got eliminated, but oh well. So I went 5-3 and got 42nd place. Oh well, not bad. But my brother got 12th! We were coming back tomorrow, so I was pretty excited. IN OTHER NEWS That night I saw a Scion FR-S! My dream car! June 31st So we go back to the convention center at around 8. My little brother, Gerry, goes up against some kid. His first battle he won. Phew, only one more and we were going to Worlds. This next battle was on the TV. I was poopin' in my pants because this guy was like a hyperactive ADD kid with 548329583 family members around him, and like 5 grandparents cheering him on. I kind of forgot what he had, but I remember he had Zapdos and Toxicroak. The first battle he won pretty easily, and I was actually proud of him. But the next battle he failed miserably. He tried to Drain Punch a Zapdos. He sent out Kingdra and Ludicolo, then Scizor and Toxicroak. Two Swift Swimmers and no rain. Have I taught you nothing you dumb idiot? He lost. Luckily the next battle he won. So now he was in top 4 and we were going to Worlds. He had one more battle, to see if he was gonna be first or second. This kid was 9-0. Their battle was on the TV once again, and I knew he was gonna screw it up. Sure enough, he did. He easily could have beaten him. A few masters were watching, and so was Drifblim. He lost his first battle. The next one was horrendous. I can't remember the first part, but in the end it was a Hitmontop and Latios (Who was at -2 SpA from firing off a Draco Meteor) against his Scizor. He still had a Flying Gem on him, so he easily could have taken down Top, tanked whatever Latios threw at him, used Bug Bite on Latios, and then finished off whatever was left. But no. Gerry had to Bullet Punch Hitmontop. :evan::evan::evan::evan::evan::evan::evan: That took about 40%, so Top CC'd then Sucker Punched. The guys in masters behind us were like "Did he have Acrobatics? Why would he do that?" So I had to turn around and say "Yes, he had a Flying Gem Acrobatics." Dumb broad. I'm still extremely mad at him for that, and I'm forcing him to learn every type matchup and every single move his pokemon has. At least we're going to Worlds. He got 4th! So afterwards I hung out with Lucien and Nicksor for a bit. We took pictures and stuff, and then we left. That was the best Nats I've ever gone to, mainly because of everyone I met. Thanks guys. I can't wait to see all of you next year in Masters! My bro. Seriously guys, Lucien is freaking awesome. Luv ya man<3333 Me and Nicksor being BOSSES. Fuck yeah, this guy is awesome. All the Cali smogonites should meet up soon! All three of us. You guys are the best<3 People I met: -Drifblim -Lucien (My nigga) -AlphaOmega -Nicksor (My other nigga) -Sapphire Birch -Cybertron (Awesome guy, so proud of him for taking 1st. Good job man!) -Huy (Nicest guy I've ever met. Thanks for letting me use your team. It's pretty funny how we both went 5-3 in our respective divisions. See you next year in Masters) -Unreality -Red Striker -Dingram (Love your shirt) -Maski (Didn't really meet her, but I saw her around. Good luck at Worlds, hopefully we wont have to battle each other during the LCQ.) -KingofKongs (Finally met him! Great job for going to long without losing, it sucks you didn't make top 4 though man. You probably deserved it the most. Good luck at worlds though, hopefully we don't have to battle each other during the LCQ.) Pros: -Going 5-3! -Getting 42nd place! -Going to Worlds! -Giving Gerry the team that got him to 4th! -Meeting all the awesome Seniors and Masters that helped me throughout this whole journey. You guys make Pokemon worth it. Cons: -Not being able to meet a lot of other people -Not taking pictures with the whole Smogon crew -Not going 6-2 Phew, that was long. Hopefully I'll see ALL of you next year. Good luck at Worlds to those who are going, see you all there!