so my trip started early friday morning in glorious Washington DC. i have breakfast with my girlfriend and drop her off at work. i return back to the house to collect my things and get going. i found sick cheap bus tickets to NY for $35 bucks, so that was a no brainer, i'm soo taking a bus rather than driving the 4 1/2 hours. anyways the trip was fine, i spent most of it sleeping and tweaking my team. i get to new york and have the evening to enjoy the night life of midtown Manhattan - it was a blast. on the next morning. i jet outta my slightly grungy (but cheap;) hotel to the tourney site, only about a 5 min skate from the hotel, which was sweet! i get there early, around 7 am to secure a spot and only one person is standing in line as an alternate. as no one is really there, i decide to grab some quick breakfast and retun in a few. as more more people gather they tell us that wristbands will be given out to those wishing to be alternates and #s will be called @ 10:45 am. i had time to kill, so i eat and do a few trades with a couple chill guys Adam and Kevin while we wait. we talk strategy and techniques until the time for the # call. now everyone is gathered to hear alternates called for the seniors. all the previous junior trainers got in and were estatic to get in. only 4 of the wristband holders were not able to compete (i personally felt really bad for them, cus i know lots traveled to NYC just for this event), that left a whopping 94 open spots for competition. i was glad just to get in! after registration and formailites, i got to go in and hang while i wait for my flight to begin play, i was in flight 2. i took some pics with Expert Evan and EE Jr. in front of Pikachu, Palkia and Dialga. i watched a few of the junior matches and killed time by grabbing as much swag as i could. me and palkia EE and Son. i was really glad to meet both of you! juniors playing the last couple rounds my lucky Snorlax and a closeup of the DS stands. the starters! next to the bathroom of all places =/ ***************************************** lets get to my faithful team. i'll leave IVs/EVs out as they are fairly standard fare and most are near perfect for what they need to do ;). here they are: (forbidden's) Timid / Volt Abosrb / @ Focus Sash - Protect - Rain Dance - Thunder - HP Grass (Python's) Modest / Swift Swim / @ Life Orb - Hydro Pump - Surf - Ice Beam - HP Electric (personal breed) Modest / Swift Swim / @ Damp Rock - Rain Dance - Ice Beam - Surf - HP Electric (person breed) Adamant / Swift Swim / @ Expert Belt - Brick Break - Crunch - Waterfall - Ice Fang my overall strategy was just hit hard and fast with my Swift Swimmers after Rain Dance is set up with Jolteon. also to using Hidden Power to take out my likely counters and surprise a few opponents who don't expect 3 Hidden Power pokes on the same team. the overall downfall of the team is of course the dreaded Trick Room... the antithesis of my team. i'll get to that soon enough. i'm bad with details, so here are brief summaries of the battles to the best of my recollection. if any of my opponents read this feel free to chime in and help me out! Round 1 Opponent: Matt (i beleive) Team: Dusknoir / Lickylicky / Rhyperior / Starmie Jolty sets up Rain Dance and Kingdra uses Hydro Pump on Licklicky, taking out over 95% of its HP. he opens with Dusknoir using Helping hand and Lickylicky to Explode. Kingdra falls and Jolty hangs on with a Sash. i bring out the Electric Pineapple and he brings out Rhyperior. Scared, he withdraws Rhyperior for Starmie. i'm not sure about the next few turns but i think Jolty Protects while Ludicolo Surfs Dusknoir and Stamie doing about over a third damage to Dusknoir and 50% to Starmie (go rain). Jolty Thunders away Dusknoir and Ludicolo takes out Starmie with HP Electric. The dude is stupified and freezes. using that HP Electric felt damn good. Rhyperior is left and and i Surf killing Jolty and Rhyperior. a good first match... i'm very pleased with my team performace so far. what was sweet about the match is that this guy took out one of my friends at JAA or something. so he was happy got a bit of revenge for him by taking him out in the 1st round Round 2: Opponent: Daniel Team: ? / ? / Salamence / Milotic sorry i couldn't really remember this match. it was over very quickly. Rain Dance / Hyrdo Pump fist turn. Protect / Surf next turn did massive damage. i killed off Salamence easily with my abundance of Ice moves and Milotic needs 2 Thunders to go down (good for him). but in the end i swept 4-0. Kingra i beleive only lost about 25% HP due to Life Orb recoil. Daniel had no real synergy in the team, and i beleive he knew that - he made the team pretty quicky from what he said. anyways though, i later become good friends with him and a few others and we hung out in NYC together for the duration of my stay that day. GG Daniel =) Round 3: Opponent: Tacho (Smogon) Team: Bronzong / Raikou / ? / Latios Tacho (in red) getting ready for our match. it was AMAZING. This was the absolute best game i played there and one of the best games i've ever played period. i'll wait for Tacho to post his warstory on this, he knows the details better. His team was Trick Room based. it destroyed mine. he was freely taking out my pokes one by one. I was pretty much out of hope after the first 3 turns. i made the best possible moves but he was pretty much in control of the match for 98% of the time. it all bolied down to Latios vs. Floatzel, 1 vs 1. Latios still had TR on his side so Floaty was screwed in terms of who's going first. Latios T-bolts Floaty for 97%-98% damage... Floaty lives! bulky spreads are amazing! she busts out with Ice Fang to take out Latios. i literally jump for joy when this happened. i asked him before the match if he went to any forums and he did really say much. after the match he told me he was a smogoner, as a surprise as i stated my name is kindnugs on the forum. wait for this post from him, it should be a great one! Good Game Tacho. i want to battle you again. i think the game should've been yours, but Floatzel prevailed for me. simply the highlight of the Showdown for me... period. i've now made the top 16 of Showdown. the winners of this bracket, the top 8, get the ticket to the Finals in Florida. Me, along with Expert Evan, his Son, and XxBlueCookiesXx were all in. we stood proud as we waited for the next match. 25% of the top 16 were Smogonites - too f'ing cool =) through the bracketing, i thought me and XxBlueCookiesXx were gonna play each other. but no... it was someone else.... Round 4 TOP 16 Match Opponent: Some kid who was at Nationals. Team: Bronzong / Smeargle / ? / ? Decimation... of me, not my opponent. this was a difficult match indeed. the Smeargle was Level 1 and had Endure. Bronzong set up Trick Room and foiled my strategy so he picked away at my team until nothing was left. Endure plus a Gyro Ball took my guys out one by one. i had no counters for Bronzong and Smeargle had a Sash and Protect in his arsenal. this kid's team was a simple but very effective strategy that worked well as he took advantage of being able to use lower than lv.50 pokes (no auto-level). he eventually made his way to the top 2 and lost to the overall winner. losing to the 2nd place trainer is something i had to respect. if you are reading this kid, props to you and good luck in FL. i don't really think i had a chance. maybe if i concentrated on taking out Smeargel first but TR crippled my team overall, so it was hard to make good decsions under this kind of pressure. ****************************************** i now bow out and leave the tourny as a Top 16 Trainer. i was stoked to just get picked as an alternate, but i never expected to make it this far, so i was very happy with my Team's performance. Major props to forbidden for giving out his Jolteon for all to use. and Major props to Python who traded me his HP Electric Kingdra not too long ago. without those two pokes, this couldn't have happened. Ludicolo and Floatzel did amazing as well. being my personal breeds, i was quite proud of how they held their ground. it was great to meet all kinds of people who play pokemon, it was so varied. Eric, Daniel, Adam, and Kevin - it was cool hanging out with you guys at the tourny and after as we chilled in NYC. I really enjoyed meeting Trista from Bulbagarden (i'll hit you up soon, girl) and her bearded friend that was equally as cool and kind to me! i also liked meeting the Smogonites and putting faces to the names. Good luck to XxBlueCookiesXx in Florida!, i hope you get far man, i'm rooting for you. Hikari Meoru, glad to meet you too, hope to see you more on these forums! and to anyone else i forgot, thanks for making my trip to NYC a very memorable experience. see you guys next year!?................ one more parting shot, the two finalists (Champion on the right). sorry i'm bad with names, but props to both trainers, and the rest of the Top 8. Good Luck in the Showdown Finals.