As we started the day, we knew coming into this that the Newark regional was going to have over the 768 limit and that we were best to get there early, and that the competition was far tougher compared to when we last were able to compete back in 2008 in NY when we both got as far as top 16 only to fall short one round in order to qualify for an all expenses paid trip to worlds. Our ultimate goal: make it 2 weeks in a row that a father & son both make it to the finals so we can get a new DSi and travel to Indianapolis. We made it to the expo with hardly any traffic at around 10:15am and got in line which shortly brought us all indoors for until it was time to register. Shinkou as we approach the indoors. There we met up with TTS (little will we know he would win it all), Carl, BlueCookies, and Silv. BlueCookies in black During this time Shinkou seated was playing some practice matches with a nice young man named Justin overlooking while we wait and he plays with the same pokemon that won Seattle & Dallas this year: hitmontop, kyogre, abomasnow & palkia which mostly pwned other opponents especially the way this team worked rather disruptively and gave our new friend Justin quite a show as we were watching. 2 of the 3 kids ahead of us that looked like 12-13 year old friends would be our first round opponents eventually. Some of whom Shinkou had practice VGC battles with. I'd see 3lmo, DukeTheDevil and one other I forgot his smogon name outside when I went back and forth 2 the car to bring a chair and drinks. At around 12:50pm, the line starts moving as we approach showtime: BlueCookies again Showtime! Before we get to the rounds, here was the party of 6 pokemon I had in my soul silver game as my intention was to blast a whole in my opponents party and then sweep whatever weak is left. This is based on a team I had great success in Alaka's wifi tournament VGC style back in February/March where I was runner-up to Serendipity as shown on smogonu's youtube channel. I made few changes since then as counters were becoming popular: (caught in my pearl ROM) "mingot" Timid Palkia: 252 sp.atk/speed, 6 HP item: haban berry - Flamethrower - Thunder - Protect - Spacial Rend With its special attack power only 2nd best to mewtwo but with a better STAB as that was my main determinant over giratina. Flamethrower for sunny conditions and the likes of other steel, grass, ice & shedinja, Thunder for kyogre and rain support, spacial rend for other dragons, and protect for when snorlax selfdestructs and scouting. (received in trade from Bitterlemon) Brave Snorlax: 252 attack/sp.def 6 hp Ability: Thick Fat item: lum berry - Fire Punch - Protect - Crunch - Selfdestruct Main purpose is to blast a hole in the opponent side. Fire Punch for resistent steel types, abomasnow and hope for a burn, Crunch to hit ghosts, protect to scout, and ultimately to selfdestruct when it can. (Caught in my son's HG game) "Jimbo" Timid Kyogre: 252 sp.atk/speed, 6 HP item: choice scarf - Thunder - Blizzard - Ancient Power - Water Spout When at full health, water spout does massive damage to both opponents. Thunder for foe kyogre, blizzard for other dragons and ancient power for shedinja. Even up to the last minute, I was trying to decide whether to go with a bulky modest shiny kyogre that I received in trade from KarlMee1234 or go with the risky timid choice scarfer. I ended up going with the one I've had most success with. (caught in my platinum game on route 205) "Wild Eep" Modest Ludicolo: 252 sp.atk/speed, 6 defense Ability: Swift Swim item: leftovers - Grass Knot - Ice Beam - Protect - Toxic swift swim in rain and hits larger opponents hard. Grass knot for the likes of groudon & kyogre, ice beam for dragons, toxic for shedinja and other stallers, and protect to scout while recovering. (caught in my platinum ROM) "BadIntent" Adamant Giratina-o: 150 HP, 252 attack, 108 speed item: Griseous Orb - Shadow Sneak - Protect - Dragon Claw - Shadow Force I really wanted to use this one based on the one Havak used in the UK, but is largely countered by palkia. I did like the prospect of using it with selfdestruct snorlax and to shadow force through certain protects so long as they don't switch to any normal types. Shadow Sneak for priority, Dragon Claw and Shadow Force for STABs and protect to scout. (caught in my platinum game in the trophy garden) "godudette" Calm Blissey: 6 HP, 252 defense/sp.def Ability: Natural Cure item: chople berry - Icy Wind - Softboiled - Toxic - Protect Once I read Alaka's warstory, I seriously considered using this blissey and even had amazing success with it on Pokemon Online so long as certain fighting types are long gone. Icy Wind is its only attack with plenty of PP and can even take down dialga or other special steel types, Softboiled to keep recovering, Toxic to wither out the opposition and protect to scout. Round 1: Palkia, Snorlax, Kyogre & Ludicolo vs. Dragonite, regigigas, typhlosion & Palkia I was facing a young kid that was part of a group of 3 kids ahead of us in line while my son played another of them. I probably made his VGC experience a very miserable one as it took 3 turns to sweep his entire party as follows: Turn 1, palkia spacial rends dragonite for a OHKO while snorlax protects and regigigas' brick break is blocked, then palkia protects while snorlax takes a weak focus blast from typhlosion and then selfdestructs before regigigas can even do anything, so this brave 0 speed snorlax actually outsped a slow start regigigas without trying. All that was left to do was kyogre and palkia finishing off his last pokemon a palkia. 3-0 Round 2: Palkia, Snorlax, Kyogre & Ludicolo vs. Groudon, cresselia, kyogre & hitmontop round 2 I face a stocky young man (Silv's friend Pete) whom leads with groudon & cresselia, which looks familiar to the lead that Duy successfully used in San Francisco. Here's what I should've done in the first turn: I should've repeated what I did in round 1 where palkia attacks while snorlax protects, but instead I protect with palkia while snorlax selfdestruct. In the meantime groudon protects while cresselia sets up the light screen as this makes what should have been a typical round 2 passage into a possible early elimination. It took about 2 grass knots to groudon to KO it while cresselia paralyzed my palkia and toxicated my ludicolo, and then we had to deal with the priority moves from hitmontop as it would eventually be my kyogre against both cresselia & hitmontop. kyogre would take 2 mach punches from hitmontop while it KO'd cresselia and then thunder-paralyzed hitmontop to the point that kyogre was in the yellow as it came down to one move. Once I saw hitmontop could not move due to paralysis and my thunder KOd it I took a big sigh of relief knowing I could have lost this. 1-0 Round 3: Palkia, Snorlax, Kyogre & Ludicolo vs. Kyogre, toxicroak, abomasnow & palkia round 3 was against a tall asian guy as I had to regain my poise to continue, and he starts with kyogre & toxicroak as I once again knew this was not going to be easy as my team struggles against fighting types. What I should have done was what I did in round 2 and that was protect palkia and selfdestruct with snorlax as that would definitely had changed the outcome of this round. What happened? I tried to thunder kyogre while protecting snorlax the first turn only to get faked out by toxicroak and receive some damage from water spout. Next turn protected with palkia but snorlax could not survive both a water spout and a low kick before it could blow up. Next I send in kyogre and tried to thunder foe kyogre only for it to switch out to abomasnow and change the weather instantly. Abomasnow wouldn't last as palkia flamethrowered it for the KO while kyogre could at least thunder and paralyze toxicroak and then thunder and paralyze kyogre on the next turn. I almost thought I was getting the upper hand but since toxicroak has that priority sucker punch it could still weaken my 2 on the field. Eventually it was down to just ludicolo versus a weakened kyogre and a full health palkia as it at least got rid of kyogre while taking a spacial rend from palkia for mass damage. I probably could have used blissey here but too late for that. With palkia at full health and ludicolo in the yellow even after a protect, it was down to either using a grass knot and hoping for a critical hit or an ice beam and hope for a freeze. Next to me playing was smogon member, Human, as this was a rather awkward moment while I'm on the verge of losing. As my luck would turn out, ice beam did not freeze while palkia finished my ludicolo with spacial rend for the loss and a chance to continue. 0-1 Shinkou's 3rd round match ended about 10-15 minutes after mine and saw him go through the exit indicating that he lost his match as apparently he was also 1-0'd and got frozen in that match. It turned out that both our 3rd round opponents would wind up losing their matches in round 4 (Human beat my opponent in round 4 I'd later learn). Our friend Justin happened to lose in round 1 so in a way we were glad we didn't have to have a match with him. Props: Getting there early enough and settled into the line Meeting up with the other smogoners I was able to see at least at least being able to participate easy round 1 match lucky at least to win round 2 TPCi doing away with the unfair lottery of the past and implementing a smoother way to conduct the tournament Receiving the shiny eevee wondercard in our HG/SS & SS ROM as well Slops: Costly first turns in round 2 & 3 trouble dealing with fighting types such as hitmontop & toxicroak Not being able to make it to the finalist lounge Why does the shiny eevee have to be hardy nature? My poor picture quality here After we were through, we got something to eat, didn't feel like waiting in any long lines for King of the Hill, met with other smogoners and friends we've seen in past year events. In a way it was a relief it was over but disappointing that we couldn't advance as far as desired. Great meeting fivekrunner, Bonta-Kun, Silv, some of the ducks and that I met and would eventually go all the way long after we left. dtrain, fivekrunner, carl, aamto aamto, Expert Evan, dtrain, fivekrunner TDS & Human in finalist lounge Some more pictures not shown here can now be seen in my VGC/Newark album. At this time, we have no plans to attend any last chance qualifiers as we expect next year to incorporate the 5th generation. Will we be ready for that? Only time will tell. I wish we could've stayed longer. While our VGC aspirations are over, I look forward to what new challenges may lie ahead for next year.