(other pictures here) Just 3 months after attending the Worlds LCQ's for VGC2011 in San Diego, CA comes the new format and will little time to prepare. Having the November 13 location in Rhode Island was a benefit since we have not had any Pokemon regional tournaments in New England since 2006 when JAA came to Boston. So according to schedule, the event website originally told us to be there to register between 8am to 8:45am with no clear schedule of when and how this was going to work out, so we had planned in advance that in order to make the 2 hour drive from southwestern Connecticut up to Providence we would wake up at 5am and leave our home no later than 6am. Fortunately we had no traffic along the way and Shinkou slept the entire way there. The GPS got us directly to the Convention Center parking lot which tennisace had previously posted was $20 but turned out to be $10 instead as we conveniently parked on same floor where the regional took place. In contrast to past years where it usually was a mob scene, we arrived to a much smaller crowd, and the first smogon member to meet me was iss as he informed us that masters registration was not until 11am and that we won't start until 12pm. Great! So we had plenty of time now to kill. We tried setting up the laptop but wifi connection turned out to be a premium. We saw other smogon members show up as well including tennisace, TheGr8, Cybertron was already there, Unreality, DTrain, Enfuego, Chalkey, The Wolf, Human, Charzaro, etc... We took the walkway over to the nearby mall at the food court for a late breakfast then got back to register when it was our time to. Here was the team I ended up using, as I RNG'd all my own pokemon though the prior generation ones were all done in 4th generation before pokeshifting them with their desired moves: I really didn't practice much on Pokemon Online, but rather on random wifi instead oftentimes against Japanese teams. Zapdos @ Charti Berry Trait: Pressure EVs: 140 HP / 252 SAtk / 116 Spd Modest Nature (+SAtk, -Atk) - Heat Wave - Discharge - Hidden Power [Ice] - Detect I settled for using a modest nature zapdos and made it semi-bulky so it can dish out its attacks longer. heat wave, a 4th gen move tutor to hit both and possibly burn, discharge to heavily damage and possibly paralyze others as well, and HP-Ice to catch switch-in dragons off guard as well as detect in case of imprison. Zapdos with discharge works well with telepathy musharna as well as my garchomp though other party members could take hits from it as well, and sometimes benefits my ferrothorn whom otherwise could get hit with a will-o-wisp instead. Marijuana (Ferrothorn) (F) @ Leftovers Trait: Iron Barbs EVs: 252 HP / 148 Def / 108 SDef Relaxed Nature (+Def, -Spd) - Leech Seed - Protect - Power Whip - Gyro Ball While ferrothorn wasn't as good in VGC2011 format, I tried it out in this format and really liked it though only a good fire or a strong fighting move could take it out. This one I could usually switch in on a focus sasher with a priority move or get in some strong grass (whenever accurate) as well as anti-speed or leech seed to give my opponent a frustrating time. Hitmontop (M) @ Fight Gem Trait: Intimidate EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Spd Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Fake Out - Sucker Punch - Close Combat - Wide Guard Fake out, Intimidate ability, ability to block blizzard in a turn as well as hit hard certain opponents as this one along with zapdos showed up in most all my matches. This was RNG'd in front of the fighting master deep in the cave as it already knew fake out. After evolving into hitmontop and before pokeshifting did I teaching it the mightiest priority move of sucker punch. Beyonce (Musharna) (F) @ Leftovers Trait: Telepathy EVs: 252 HP / 4 SAtk / 252 SDef Sassy Nature (+SDef, -Spd) - Trick Room - Helping Hand - Imprison - Shadow Ball Why Musharna over the bulkier cresselia?: Imprison is why. Also can use trick room if facing a potentially faster team since 3 of my pokemon had the bulk to dish out the attacks. Musharna works well with zapdos in particular. Garchomp (F) @ Haban Berry Trait: Sand Veil EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spd Jolly Nature (+Spd, -SAtk) - Earthquake - Rock Slide - Outrage - Protect Original idea was to pair with zapdos, used haban berry over yache since dragon attacks seemed more common. I rarely used garchomp this time though. garchomp in a great ball knowing outrage? It's a move tutor back in 4th gen for those that forgot. Latios (M) @ Life Orb Trait: Levitate EVs: 6 HP / 4 Def / 248 SAtk / 4 SDef / 248 Spd Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk) - Dragon Pulse - Psychic - Hidden Power [Fire] - Protect Latios was my last change a week before VGC as I had previously tried out yanmega, and wanted something else that could levitate and had higher special attacks, and having hidden power fire for likes of other ferrothorns in particular was what won me over to it. Now onto the 6 matches: Since Shinkou & I both had the same first and last name, the only way to distinguish ourselves was to include his middle initial of E. at least while I didn't have my middle initial shown as we almost got mixed up in the first round. Round 1: vs Solace (garchomp, latios, metagross, chandelure) also had togekiss & lickilicky Good thing this was not elimination as I was facing another smogonite, a female wearing a duck shirt. Good thing we had notepad and pen so we could take notes which helps greatly in remembering stuff for the match as well as preparing this story, but I had one little snag, I didn't select and press confirm on my 4 pokemon choices in time so it chose my first 4 pokemon in my party for me, so when the match started, I couldn't understand why ferrothorn was on the field while chandelure was out. Fortunately my zapdos and hitmontop were strong enough to help get things in my favor for the 2-0 win. Expert Evan 1-0, Shinkou 0-1 Round 2: vs Jivetime Facing another smogonite again, we both start off with the same pokemon leads of zapdos and hitmontop, but once his zapdos setup tailwind there was little I could do and things went downhill from there. Expert Evan 1-1, Shinkou 1-1 Round 3: vs (unknown) (conkeldurr, terrakion, dusknoir, stoutland) also had hydreigon & amoongus First non-smogoner though it was tough taking down his dusknoir until I got my hitmontop back in and did an unexpected sucker punch to outspeed any shadow sneak. Expert Evan 2-1, Shinkou 2-1 Round 4: vs TheGr8 (toxicroak, yanmega, metagross, zapdos) also had politoed & ludicolo (courtesy of TheGr8) 3rd smogonite out of 4 facing, As seen in youtube video, I manage to quickly taking out TheGr8's metagross & toxicroak, but would still have to squeak out a win after missing heatwave once and almost missing again, paralyzed my latios & his zapdos in one turn. Unfortunately one of us had to lose. Expert Evan 3-1, Shinkou 3-1 Round 5: vs Sandman (rotom-F, abomasnow, hitmontop, suicune) also had dragonite & scizor The 4th smogonite of the day, and someone I've had trouble facing on wifi and Pokemon Online in the past as well. Sandman made clever switches in the beginning and like Jivetime had also setup tailwind as well, so little I could do from there on. Expert Evan 3-2, Shinkou 4-1 Round 6: vs Aramis Troche (gyarados, slowking, seaking, lanturn) also had samurott & alomomola Last match of the day, against someone not from smogon, so I was determined to at least win this one to end on a positive record. This opponent had what I'd consider an all-water team good enough to be a gym leader, though from looking at the team it was not just attacking it with grass and electric moves as there were potential hazards from the start, so I strategically left ferrothorn and zapdos on the bench while leading with my hitmontop and while smelling trick room also sent out musharna to quickly put that strategy to a halt. Some might wonder why I kept both hitmontop and musharna in as it was to first take out slowking, then to get rid of seaking whom I suspected had lightningrod which reminded me of my worlds LCQ loss to that zebstrika strategy as hitmontop sucker punched it out before lanturn could discharge with it. With gyarados' intimidate and a rindo berry it took a 2hko for ferrothorn on the lanturn before zapdos' discharge finished off gyarados for the win. Expert Evan 4-2, Shinkou 5-1 Shinkou's last matches were against Dtrain & Jio as the last epic match against Jio can be seen here: (courtesy of Cybertron) 7. Shinkou (5-1) 14. Expert Evan (4-2) Not too bad after 55 that finished out of 63/64 that participated in the masters division. Props: swiss method note taking during matches winning record great smogon turnout communication through twitter Slops: weakness to tailwind setup not enough time to write everything down Next time let us know to correct time to register at 11am instead of 8am no wifi at convention center Overall it was a great experience as we also got to meet Mike Liesik and was able to express what came to mind there. I'm looking forward to the group picture we had at the end as I hope that came out great. We plan on attending Philadelphia regional in April as I'll likely make further changes for the occasion.