Well, that's better than I did last year! Pretty tough all the way through this time; no easy battles at all. (Except for the bye.) Before I launch into the battles, here's my team! It's a Trick Room team. Reuniclus @ Life Orb Trick Room/Psychic/Shadow Ball/Focus Blast Amoonguss @ Lum Berry Rage Powder/Spore/Giga Drain/Protect Conkeldurr @ Flame Orb Drain Punch/Mach Punch/Rock Slide/Detect Druddigon @ Dark Gem Sucker Punch/Rock Slide/Draogn Claw/Protect Eelektross @ Flying Gem Acrobatics/Wild Charge/Crunch/Protect Chandelure @ Focus Sash Heat Wave/Shadow Ball/Trick Room/Protect Note! All matches are subject to my faulty memory, and may be slight or total fabrications. My wristband for the first section was Furret! Round 1 vs. Hugh On the team preview, he seems to have quite a few fire types - Vulcarona, Darmanitan, that kind of thing. I also see Trick Room's bane, Whimsicott. I decide to go with my typical leads of Reuniclus and Amoonguss anyway, and stick Chandelure in the back to hopefully steal a Flash Fire boost. I think he had Conkeldurr, too, so I also pick Eelektross to step up to the plate. He leads Darmanitan Whimsicott. Annoying. I see little way to avoid a massive Flare Blitz to the face, other than switch in Chandelure; but I need TR up. Amoonguss is going to have to take one for the team. I'm actually pretty glad Whimsicott has Prnakster here; if Darmanitan could KO Amoonguss before Taunt goes off, I'd be in trouble. Amoonguss Rage Powders, and Flare Blitz is a clean KO. I'm not quite sure what Whimsicott did here; think it was either Taunt or Helping Hand. Either way, I get my Trick Room up. I send out Eelektross to replace Amoonguss. Thinking the Acrobatics on Whimsicott is a bit too obvious, and fearing the awesome power of Darmanitan, I go for the Acrobatics on it. Reuniclus I have to switch out; I can't risk being Encored into Trick Room. I'm a little upset that I'm going to KO Darmanitan before it can try to attack Reuniclus and instead activate Chandelure's Flash Fire for me, but oh well. As it happens, Darmanitan switches into Conkeldurr (I think; correct me if I'm wrong!). Acrobatics, strenghtened by the gem, is a one hit KO. I tihnk the replacement Pokémon is Landlos, though that could be my memory playing tricks on me. The following turns seem like awesome prediction, but are also somewhat fluky. He Protects a fair amount with both Pokémon, and I always manage to be aiming at the non Protector. Whimsicott predicts Acrobatics and Protects; I Acrobatics and Shadow Ball Landlos. When Landlos Protects, I hit Whimsicott. We end up with Darmanitan out and Whimsicott using Sunny Day before a final Acrobatics kills it, then Chandelure finishes off Darmanitan. Overall, I'm glad to have made it past round one, and a tricky battle that left me a Pokémon down right from the get go. He says originally he was thinking of opening with Sunny Day + Vulcarona Heat Wave, which could have ruined my chances if Reuniclus and Amoonguss had both fainted. Round 2 vs. Rob Now, this is something of a nightmare for VGC goers; you approach the second station, and your opponent is wearing a blue T Shirt with "Pokérob" written on it in yellow. Gulp. After some consideration, I decide to swap both my back Pokémon from the prevous batte, and enter with Reuniclus, Amoonguss, Druddigon and Conkeldurr. He leads Whimsicott Thundurus. Man, not more Whimsicott... I start as expected, with Rage Powder + Trick Room. Whimsicott Helping Hands, and Thundurus smacks Amoonguss with what I assume is HP Ice (though it might have been STAB HP Flying, but I'd have thought that would do more). Amoonguss survives, and I get my Trick Room off. Now, I'm pretty sure he won't be content to let a Trick Room slide; so I Rage Powder again, predicting Encore, and Psychic the genie. Rage Powder goes off, and then Thundurus Taunts Amoonguss; and then Whimsicott Encores Amoonguss. Reuniclus, the fastest thing out there at the time, goes last and does serious damage to the genie. Well, I've dodged the Encore, but Amoonguss is now locked into Struggle, so he's coming back. I remember from the team preview he has a Scrafty; and I think it's likely he'll switch with Thundurus to take the Psychic. So, I aim at Whimsicott instead. Sure enough, Thundurus switches into Scrafty, and I'm starting to think I know how to play this game. Whimsicott surprises me by Encoring Reuniclus. I'm not entirely sure how Encore in doubles like this works; does it randomise the targets? In any case, Reuniclus is unphased and hits the Whimsicott, leaving it low. My Amoonguss switched out for Druddigon. Scrafty's obviously going to Fake Out now, so I launch two attacks in the hope that one will connect at least. Druddigon ends up being the dedicated flincher, and his Whimsicott sets up Tailwind before eating another Psychic and biting the dust. My memory's a little hazy from here, but I think he sends out Thundurus. I go for the Focus Blast on Scrafty, and I guess Rock Slide with Druddigon. Chople kicks in, and Scrafty survives with half or so to Crunch Reuniclus. Thundurus is down, and Trick Room ends. He sends out Haxorus. My Druddigon goes for the Sucker Punch on it; and gets a critical hit. Critical Dark Gem boosted Sucker Punch is enough to OHKO Haxorus, in a pretty rough bit of hax. Scrafty finishes off Reuniclus with Crunch. I send out Conkeldurr. Not wanting to risk, well, anything, I go for the Protect + Detect to activate Flame Orb, then finish Scrafty off with a Mach Punch. Round 3 vs. Joe So, that was tough. Looking at the preview here, seems like it's going to be tough again. I notice a few problem mons - Amoonguss and Scrafty, to be precise. And he leads Amoonguss Scrafty. Bother. Scrafty can Fake Out, and my Reuniclus has no protection against sleeping... Yep, perfect prediction! Amoonguss flinches and Reuniclus is visitng the dream world. It's okay, I can recover... I start turn two with Spore from Amoonguss, feeling it's my only chance to win. Note this is the only time my Amoonguss gets to actually Spore anything the entire tournament. As I thought, his Amoonguss outspeeds and puts mine to sleep; but Lum Berry wakes it up, and I Spore him back. Reuniclus, meanwhile, takes a Crunch from Scrafty and survives on lowish health. Now, we play the please wake up soon game. Amoonguss Rage Powders. Scrafty Crunches it. Amoonguss is fast asleep. Reuniclus is fast asleep. Judging by the damage output, my Amooguss can take at least another two Crunches. And of course, every turn he's running the risk of getting Effect Spored... Please be sleep! His Amoonguss is fast asleep. He must be Rage Powdering for the message to appear first like that. My Amoonguss used Rage Powder. Scrafty used Crunch! A critical hit! Amoonguss faints. Effect Spore activates! Scrafty is poisoned. Now, if Reuniclus doesn't wake up here I'm packing my bags. Reuniclus woke up! Reuniclus used Trick Room! Okay, that Trick Room is the lifeline that's keeping me in the game. I send out Conkeldurr. His Amoonguss wakes up! His Amoonguss uses Rage Powder! Reuniclus Psychics and OHKOs it. Conkeldurr Drain Punches Scrafty, removing the Chople Berry. Crunch finishes off Reuniclus, and I send out Druddigon. He sends out Thundurus. I go for double Rock Slide. With the poison damage, Conkeldurr's Guts boosted Rock Slide finished Scrafty off. Thundurus subs, and Conkeldurr misses; luckily Druddigon hits, and breaks it. He sends out Terrakion. Terrakion Protects, and Thundurus subs. Druddigon's Rock Slide breaks the sub, and Conkeldurr's Drain Punch does nothing. Conkeldurr's Drain Punch knocks Terrakion down to its Focus sash. Druddigon's Rock Slide finishes everything off. Round 4 vs. Sabbath Pokémon World members represent! And all fight me. This is the one team preview I remmeber flawlessly; all three genies, both decent ghosts and Terrakion. In a word, "goodstuff." Double Ghost makes me decide to be bold and switch up my usual leads. One thing that wrecks my usual two is strong multi hit attacks; Water Spout + Heat Wave would not be fun. So, Reuniclus and Druddigon take the field. He starts with Chandelure and Tornadus. I'm always wary of Trick Room counter strategies, so I fear Chandelure almost as much as Whimsicott. Just in case he Imprisons, I double target it, with Reuniclus' Psychic and Druddigon's Sucker Punch. And, bingo! Sucker Punch fails. Chandelure used Imprison. Chandelure gets smacked by Psychic. Meanwhile, Flight Gem boosted Acrobatics leaves Druddigon on 13 HP, I think. So, Trick Room and Shadow Ball are Imprisoned. I tell Reuniclus to Psychic Tornadus, whislt Druddigon goes for another Sucker Punch. Sucker Punch fails! Okay, he's not using Protect, he's not using an attacking move, he's not using Imprison again, surely, so... what does that leave? Acrobatics finishes off Druddigon! Reuniclus' Psychic does majot damage to Tornadus! Chandelure used Trick Room! I can't help but feel glee at that. Out comes Conkeldurr, and now I outspeed his whole team. Reuniclus Psychics to finishe Chandelure off before it can Trick Room again, and Conkeldurr Rock Slides to take down the genie. He sends out Landlos and Jellicent. Now, seeing Landlos plus a ghost I get warning signals. Could it be Explosion? I don't want to risk double targetting Landlos and failing to kill it; but I also don't want to guess wrong, and switch Chandelure into a Water Spout whilst Conkeldurr Detects. Well, he could Water Spout and Explode! So, I leave Reuniclus out to potentially face the music, and Conkeldurr Detects because it doesn't want to get blown up. Sure enough, Kaboom! Landlos goes out in a blaze of glory. Reuniclis tries to Shadow Ball Jellicent first, but the Jelly Protects itself. Reuniclus takes the full brunt of the Explosion, and doesn't die. Beast. Reuniclus uses Shadow Ball (no longer Imrisoned!) and Conkeldurr Rock Slides. Jellicent Water Spouts, finishing off Reuniclus and doing some damage to Conkeldurr. I send out my sashed Chandelure, and fire off some Shadow Balls to finish the match. Chandelure ends up taking not even half damage from the Water Spout. Yay, I'm in the finalists lounge! My new wristband was Charizard! Round 5 vs. chance A nice lady hands me a card with the word "Bye" written on it. Round 6 vs. Christopher Or, as his in game name apparently is, Havak. I saved this as my video, and it was also on the screen, so everyone got to watch me lose. Yay. I'll, um, upload it to youtube and post a link here... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HbEXRzrn2bI Tada.