Note: This is the first warstory I have ever written. Please rate me on how I should improve. Introduction: Greetings, my name is Brandon Mitchell, formally known as ᴾκᴹɴ Trainer Brandøn on the SkarmBliss server. Some of you may know me from SkarmBliss, or perhaps through my past accomplishments in VGC 2011. I guess you could call this my Smogonite day view. A little about myself, my favorite Pokémon include Flareon and Zorua; other than Pokémon I like to play tennis. I also enjoy watching anime. Let us embark on a journey about a young man, an astounding journey that almost defies description with its abundance and granger, to make VGC worthy with good thoughts and kind deeds, and to refine his Pokémon battling skills through the twist and turns. Indeed his road has branched in many directions, lost at times, occasionally retracing his steps, or forcing him to take the long way, but through it all continuing his journey just the same, in order to find truths hidden inside us all. The journey starts, now. Preface: I learned about the Video Game Championships during Pokémon’s Journey Across America tour and was always fascinated upon learning how I could enter. In 2009 is when I first learned how to EV train, and so I decided to enter the Pokémon VGC Regional Championships in Nashville, TN. Result- I didn’t get to enter. Reason - This year there was a Random Drawing to decide the competitors, I was the 3rd person in line and received the Pokémon (021) Spearow, which was not one of the Pokémon numbers chosen to compete. The following year I entered the 2010 Pokémon VGC Regional in Duluth, GA. At that time I was considered a Senior (1996 or earlier) back when there was only two age divisions. Training on Pokémon Battle Revolution, I constructed an amazing team which managed to make it all the way to round 4 where I then lost to hax. 4th Round Opponent (Don’t remember his name, but he was an excellent opponent.) Reason: Accuracy Fault, Consecutively missed Blizzard. Kyogre struggled to pull off a Blizzard against a remaining Latias, it would’ve only taken one hit to finish it off, but Kyogre misses Blizzard twice in a row and gets finished by a Draco Meteor/ Dragon Pulse from the opposing Latias. I still remember that shiny Latias till this day… but you can’t win them all, also, a year later I find out the person I beat Round 3 was Lucario Jr. (You learn from being a part of a community.) Here is the battle. (Sorry for bad quality) [youtube]5lwkYdDN3mg&vq[/youtube] Battle vs Lucario Jr. Later in 2010 I discovered the Pokémon Online simulator, and in 2011 recognized that there was a SkarmBliss VGC server, a site I use to visit when I was considered a ‘randomer’ which sounds really harsh we call people that. I trained there for VGC 2011 and ended up having an awesome season. I also started making a lot of friends at the events and enjoying them more, but with friends there’s always those who dislike you for no apparent reason... ლ(ಠ益ಠლ Pokémon VGC Regional Championships- Atlanta, GA June 4th 2011 The Team: Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide Colonel Cott (Whimsicott) (M) @ Focus Sash Trait: Prankster Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk) - Endeavor - Beat Up - Tailwind - Trick Room Amoonguss (M) @ Coba Berry Trait: Effect Spore Bold Nature (+Def, -Atk) - Giga Drain - Spore - Rage Powder - Protect ShadowFire (Chandelure) (M) @ Choice Scarf Trait: Flame Body Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk) - Overheat - Psychic - Shadow Ball - Hidden Power [Ice] ShiTzuTery (Stoutland) (M) @ Normal Gem Trait: Intimidate Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - Return - Helping Hand - Thunder Wave - Protect Abyszmeyl (Hydreigon) (M) @ Life Orb Trait: Levitate Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk) - Draco Meteor - Dark Pulse - Flamethrower - Protect TeraPoleax (Terrakion) @ Sitrus Berry Trait: Justified Jolly Nature (+Spd, -SAtk) - Rock Slide - Close Combat - Quick Attack - Protect At the beginning of the season I began off by testing various Sun teams seeing Chandelure had such potential with its massive Sp. Atk, TerraCott of course I added because it would be so useful for earlier rounds, but in the end, this team was inspired from the works of Team Rocket Elite’s brother, Randy Kwa. I remember viewing a few of his matches on Youtube. No, he wasn’t the first place winner, but I did take a liking to his Stoutland - Chandelure combo, which I saw as being one of the best strategies VGC 2011 had to offer, so I adopted it to my own team. I actually met him and his brother at Nationals, I was standing right behind them at check-in and we had a small conversation I believe. Match Card- Four wins to move to finalists lounge. (4-0) Match Card (Finalist) – Win 5 matches to be crowned champion. (3-1) Result- Final round, lost to Maski. (2nd Place) Female trainers are the strongest, I remember my last three opponents being females. I made it to the finals which felt really weird because I’d never been in a finals, I think I made a prediction error, which cost my Fighting- type weak team to get pwn’d; Chandelure used Overheat on Amoonguss, who protected, should have attacked Conkeldurr, and left Amoonguss vulnerable, but it’s the finals, you can only imagine how both of us were feeling. I remember in my Top 4 match I was shaking so bad that I could barely hold my stylus.(Only 21 Seniors were in the finalists lounge, 11 Byes were given out, I was lucky enough to get one and receive an invite to Nationals, later on ended up making it to the finals. Battle Video: [youtube]8oowziTSZjU&vq[/youtube] \(^o^)/ Pokémon VGC National Championships- Indianapolis, IN July 8th- 10th 2011 The Team: Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide Primordial (Druddigon) (M) @ Life Orb Trait: Sheer Force Brave Nature (+Atk, -Spd) - Sucker Punch - Outrage - Fire Fang - Protect For Nationals I tried to utilize Trick Room in my team, same team as before except I replaced Hydregion for Druddigon. Clearing my mind for the upcoming matches Day 3 withheld. Swiss Rounds- Each Swiss match will consist of a single game. After the final Swiss round, the Top 16 competitors (depending on attendance) in each division will move on to the Single Elimination portion of the event. Result - Moved on to Single Elimination Finals Rounds, there was a total of 7 Swiss matches and after the sixed I was the only person with a perfect record (6-0), then lost the seventh match to Phillip Codio, funny thing is that I faced his friend, Kristian Mosquito, the round before who had the same exact team, and still lost. *Sigh* (I can only blame myself.) There were byes given to a few lucky people, but I had the luck of my 1st opponent not even showing up, I ended up getting 2nd seed in the Swiss rounds. So I made the Top Cut and moved on to Day 3, anxiety took over, but I wasn’t the only one dealing with this, a lot of people were dreading this day. Single Elimination Finals Rounds -The Single Elimination matches will use a best‐of‐three format, with the first player to win 2 games winning the match. Winning players advance to the next round; losing players are eliminated from the event. The winner of the final match will be the Pokémon Video Game U.S. National Champion for his or her age division. Result - Made it past the first opponent in only two matches, [Anthony Tran, 15th standing for Swiss] a great start to the day, and I was really glad I got to use my Druddigon more. Made Top 8, and here was where my luck ran out, I had to face Aaron Zheng, [7th standing for Swiss, 1st Place D.C. Regional] I knew he would be tough ever since I saw his battle on the official VGC website, and I had a strong feeling that I would face him at Nationals, too bad we didn’t get to fight later in the tournament, though after losing to him I knew he was the strongest guy there, much love (No homo); We had a great series of matches, he won the 1st one and I did the 2nd, for the 3rd match we were the last two people whom hadn’t finish battling, he ended up beating me in the final battle. I still received an invite to Worlds, and at the time I was unsure if I would even be able to go not winning the free trip. But… <( '.' )> Pokémon VGC World Championships- San Diego, CA August 12th- 14th 2011 The Team: Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide Kinderlew (Krookodile) (M) @ Persim Berry Trait: Moxie Jolly Nature (+Spd, -SAtk) - Rock Slide - Crunch - Bulldoze - Protect Amoonguss (M) @ Coba Berry Trait: Effect Spore Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk) - Giga Drain - Spore - Rage Powder - Protect Unreality (Zoroark) (M) @ (None) Trait: Illusion Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk) - - - - Protect JelliScent (Jellicent) (F) @ Water Gem Trait: Cursed Body Modest Nature (+SAtk, -Atk) - Water Spout - Ice Beam - Shadow Ball - Trick Room Fūjin (Tornadus) (M) @ Flight Gem Trait: Prankster Jolly Nature (+Spd, -SAtk) - Acrobatics - Swagger - Tailwind - Protect Raijin (Thundurus) (M) @ Electric Gem Trait: Prankster Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk) - Thunderbolt - Embargo - Hidden Power [Ice] - Substitute Yup, my mom decided to take me to Worlds, leading up to it, I knew I would have to go with a different team if I wanted to succeed, America had seen too much of my past team, so I would be countered easily, but with such a small metagame, there was little to choose from, so I did my best, and ended up with a gimmick. At the airport headed to Worlds. ‘Worlds’ is indeed a fun experience, that every Pokémon trainer should get to enjoy once in their lifetime. (Even though no one ever invites me to hang out!) The beautiful scenery, the competitors from all across the world, and of course, FOOD. The people I met were so charmingly polite; it was so wonderful meeting all of the competitors from around the world, you almost hate to forget someone’s name, but I’ll always have a mental image of them. For me, the competition was altered a bit, some of the players were decent, and a few of them were high-leveled, which was strange because I was expecting everyone to be really strong. Eventually I ended up making the top cut, which was pretty lucky of me after losing my last round, with only five rounds, I can say three pushed me so very much expected in a World competition, but I really was surprised how far I had come along since Regionals, with three divisions, I was only downsizing, which allowed me to do so well this year. Battle vs. Talon, 1st Round A Tornadus, who confused it’s foes with the level of Swagger it gave off. The foxiest fox of 5th gen who couldn’t be any foxier unless it was a Zorua, a Krooodile with too much SWAG for its own good, and a Thundurus who struck fear into its opponents, causing them to Embargo their Hold Items. My first Worlds experience contained a lot of controversy; One of my opponents from Swiss, who at the time appealed to me as being quite brilliant, afterwards informed me online, that he thought I did not deserve to make Top 8, and me making the cut (as he did as well) made his accomplishments look like s**t (dark side of competing.) I thought I did exceptionally well considering the team I was using, but everything happens for a reason; Oh well VGC 2011 needed some creativity. In my own Top 8 match I ended up losing to Human, a battler who had earned my respect just by hearing of him on the server, and I believe I lost his’ after the bloody massacre my team received during those three matches, I guess gimmicks can only go so far in the long run, but my team sure was a crowd pleaser. He really deserved to win, and I actually thought he would become World champion. Shota and his Family, one of the coolest people you could ever meet. Taking a picture with V17 and his friend Koolio. Halordain! Later I met up with Juniors Division World Champion, Brain Hough, who happened to be on the same flight as me heading home, but yea… I don’t do a bunch of cool stuff like everyone else normally does. So not much more to say. :p Prologue: November 12, 2011… As Autumn Regionals approached I find myself challenged by one of the toughest obstacles I will probably deal with in my life, everything was going just the opposite as I’d wanted it to, wake- up call much. Other than my grades starting to slip, and all the other stuff…. my grandpa died the Saturday one week before Regionals, and it was a possibility I wouldn’t be able to go because of the date of the funeral, but thankfully it was scheduled for Thursday, so I would get to go to the funeral and participate. Even after all of the turmoil I would get to go, right? I was going to bring my friend Epic Demise with me because he needed a ride, so our parents talked on the phone about how we're going to meet, and in the end since he wouldn’t be able to go, they started discussing of how much of an inconvenience it was to go now. Now I have to wait till April when everyone starts getting better. There was a song I found and was listening to a couple days before Regionals. The night before Regionals I happened to look at it with English subtitles and how much of a cliché it was that it made sense… [youtube]c1nLiFk4OXs&vq[/youtube] Because I naughty naughty. Hey! I’m Mr. Simple. I finally turn 15 and that means, time for me to become a Pokémon master, in the masters division. Just as I predicted, everyone started getting better, as I began to fall behind. I saw my Regionals team from November starting to lose, so naturally I started the process on making new ones. That made me worried because I had a chance to go to regionals, who knows how I could have placed. Saturday, April 14th: The arrival to Athens! Its 6:00 PM, and we head out for Regionals, a 7.5 hour road- trip containing my hopes and dreams, that I would be able to pull off a win in a competition I knew so little about; What worried me most was that I couldn’t grasp how strong an opponent might be, Masters division players are unpredictable in skill level, that’s why from turn one I must be at my best. This year was going to be different; I was missing out on all the action, not talking wasn’t really the issue, it was that if I did see someone I knew from online, I would be too shy to walk up to them, and have a conversation with someone I don’t really know…. Yea… tomorrow was definitely a Hot Issue. Due to our main driver having class on that Saturday, we had to postpone the road– trip until she got out, so I would have to get my sleep during the car ride which was fine seeing we would arrive around 3:00 A.M., giving us four hours (from the time change) with nothing to do. I really wanted to get there early to hang out with my friends that Saturday, but I had to focus in what was the main concern at that moment, getting there. (And I guess a few of them will still be there that Sunday after the event.) (☞ﾟヮﾟ)☞ Sunday, April 15th: VGC Regionals ☜(ﾟヮﾟ☜) Philippians 4:13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Location: Classic Center Grand Hall South 300 N. Thomas St Athens, GA. 30601 Date: Sunday, April 15th, 2012 Time - Masters: Registration begins for Masters at 9:00 AM (Registration ends at 10:00 AM). Masters begin play around 10:30 AM. The tournament will be Swiss rounds with no top cut and will last 3 to 4 hours. Winners will be determined by rankings at the end of Swiss play. The Team: Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide The team was finished near the end of January, and after all of the little edits here and there, it became officially done on February 29, 2012. As of now I don’t know what I will be running at Nationals, so I won’t reveal much on the team, even though any one person couldn’t just guess the crazy things I run on my team(s). Summary: We arrived to Athens around 3:00 AM, and being so deprived of sleep, we decided to spend a little time in a hotel, before we left back out at 7:00. 7:30 A.M. we arrived to the convention center, and I step in the building. I walked in as everyone stared at my 'Intimidating I guess?' outfit (Just a name tag from worlds and a Top Eight hat, but it was enough to make people keep looking, or was it because I was black…) taking in the sites while secretly searching for my friends, any Seniors I knew because most Masters have yet to attain, but the truth was… ‘Nervous, very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses, not destroyed, not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How then am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily, how calmly, I can tell you the whole story.’ But it wasn’t like that this year. Why wasn’t I nervous? Oh, that’s because I made friends this time. Just like at Nats, being around people you know takes your mind off things. Which I think helped me lose Round 1. :D Round 1 Brandon M. (0/0) vs. Mary Douthit (0/0) Jellicent / Reuniclus / Amoonguss / Idk VGC 2011 Trick Room team, She led with Reuniclus and Amoonguss for the obvious Rage Powder and Trick Room; we both thought I had the match, but I brought Heatran (Big mistake) and I missed a Zen Headbutt on the Jellicent, don’t know how much damage it would’ve done but it could have weakened it, didn’t want to risk Latios seeing she was using Trick Room and had a Scizor, so I ended up getting swept by Water Spout. So already my chances of winning were over, but to lose to a team from last year, I deserved to lose. Verdict: 0-2 Round 2 Brandon M. (0/1) vs. Katy Farris (0/1) Feraligatr / Gengar / Jolteon / Serperior / Shuckle / Idk Yay, I move on to my next opponent who also happens to be from Tennessee, I then ponder why I face so many female trainers, so rare but not for me I guess. I have an easy time winning but still hopeless, just going through the tourney battling. Verdict: 4-0 Round 3 Brandon M. (1/1) vs. First L. (1/1) (Rain Team) Kingdra / Ludicolo / Politoed / Jellicent/ Idk After losing the 1st round I gained my nervous consciousness back, and thought maybe If I went 7-1 I could get 3rd or 4th, there was a chance I was willing to take! I face a rain team which I did well against, running my main set again to pull of my second win for the day. Verdict: 3-0 Me. Epic Demise, and Zach Attack are all tied now while the first-timer Joseph HAS A PERFECT RECORD LIKE A BOSS. Round 4 Brandon M. (2/1) vs. First L. (2/1) Round 4… After losing Round 1 I was pretty down and decided not to record info to make a warstory, so nothing I can really say about this match, If I recall correctly faced a female trainer who seemed very nervous about this tournament, she ran a Rain team I think? But overall I think she enjoyed her experience, she was smiling as she watched me battle in a later round. Verdict: ??? So I’m 3-1, while Joseph is still going on his rampage having the best record of us Tennessee boys, while Epic and Zach start to fall behind. Round 5 Brandon M. (3/1) vs. First L. (3/1) (Sand Trick Room) Rhyperior / Tyranitar / Excadrill / Dusknoir / Idk Round 5 things started to getting standard-ish. I saw from the team preview this would be a Trick Room Sand team. So once again, I’m running my main set, wow only two sets I’ve used this whole tournament. I completely dominated with Gallade, and Gastrodon was there to clean up, didn’t give him a chance to set up which is why Round 1 was so sad, I countered Trick Room with this team! But I’m 4-1 still hoping if I went 7-1 I could get 3rd or 4th. Verdict: 4-0 Joseph is now 5-0 as Epic is pretty much bummed out, but continues to win his matches. Round 6 Brandon M. (4/1) vs. First L. (4/1) (All the way on the right.) (Sand Team) Zapdos / Scizor / Hippowdon / Excadrill / Idk The next round I face yet another sand team, and my opponent was really awesome, we talked a lot and here is where I started to feel the true level of Masters competition, not knowing what to really expect, I go the safe route by again… running my main set, I was noticing I hadn’t used one of my Pokémon at all. In the end it’s a 1 on1 with his Latios taking on my Sub’d Heatran, probably the toughest match I’ve had the whole tournament, not only that but this match was ranked for the 5th seed, I was gonna do it! I could make TOP 4! Verdict: 1-0 Round 7 Brandon M. (5/1) vs. Jerry Wood III / PokeMaster366 (5/1) Welp, looked at the standings and I’m back at table 11, wow how did I go down after winning? My next opponent seems very serious, a man of very few words, then I look at my opponent’s name on the battle screen and I’m like… wait I know this person, its someone from Pokémon Online, yup I was facing PokeMaster366. Let’s just say I was thinking two turns ahead and ended up doing it on the wrong turn. If you are watching the video, on turn 6 I take an Earthquake from Excadrill killing my Heatran whom I needed so badly for this match. Here’s my mind set at the time: Ok, I know he’s gonna kill Gastrodon this turn with Earthquake and Psychic, I’m going to Protect on Heatran and send in Weavile next turn to kill Excadrill with Fake Out, I know he will protect on it, and since his Cress is stuck using one move he can only hit Heatran, and Weavile will live one more turn of sand buffeting. So while he protects on Excadrill I shall set up Substitute and beat it next turn, or wait another turn and get more health from Leftovers. Back to that turn, and at the time I’m thinking I ALREADY HAVE SUBSTITUTE UP. It’s too late, and I have misplayed two turns ahead of my time. My chances of getting Top 4 have been basically thrown in the trash by my own hands. Verdict: 0-3 Round 8 Brandon M. (5/2) vs. First L. (5/2) Ambipom / Mienshao / Salamence / Terrakion / Idk I just take this battle casually. I just battle my opponent and even after the win I know it doesn't matter, my first year of Masters, what If I won that last round, I don’t suck… I just had a brain derp right? Am I really just this bad…. What will Nationals be like if I did go? And how did I lose Round 1 again! Verdict: 2-0 Epilogue: I finished 17th place out of about 250+, and in my mom’s eyes I have no chance at dominating Masters, I couldn’t even pull off a Regionals… don’t think I can go to Nationals, a whole year of waiting seems long.. and GS Cup is boring. Joseph’s perfect record is ended after losing to Regional Champion Crow380, and he also loses the last round to tie his record with me for the Tennessee Boys. Afterword: After the big fiasco, there was little time for celebration. Most of my friends had to head back home, so we didn’t have time to hang out longer, but I would get to see them at Nationals. We played a few matches, and I eventually went back to my hotel room on a sad note, how can I complain It was my own fault. Conclusion: (Ended up 6-2) 17th I suck. But I’m not mad, because… I had a BLAST this year, I actually met new people and we socialized, isn’t that what Pokémon is all about? Yeah, it was a happy ending after all, though I probably blew my best chance of getting to Nationals. I would hate for my 2011 run to be the only one, but maybe a light will shine brighter for us. Addendum: Always bring backup, just in case you get into a tough spot. If you forget to bring the backup burner, always carry extra bullets. (For lack of taking pictures of my other DS’s) Always use a stylus when choosing your moves, that way it’ll be easier NOT to shoot the wrong guy. Always bring a couple of hats just in case it drizzles in the crossfire. Hide (Move your mouse to the hide area to reveal the content) Show Hide Hide Hide "When one lucky hat helps get you the win, then two must give you even better chances!" ~Cybertron They say that chewing gum helps you think. I don’t know if that is really true, but I always chew. Do do it, Chu~♥ (It’s) true, true, true, true it's You~ f(x) - Chu When building your team, try to balance out your weaknesses and use a variety of attacks, not just the same type. That’s why most weather teams aren’t used. For all of those lucky enough to make it in the spotlight, I find it difficult to become cocky in a game that requires so much luck. I’ve trained a few people from nothing and watched as they became overcome in arrogance. As a great friend and supporter of mines has told me, “Stay humble and hungry,” have fun with your team, you don’t always have to be standard to do well, in fact more people will respect you for it. (At least most people will.) Shout outs: Epic Demise / John Cook, for helping me train/ build teams and starting my team format in the right direction, we sort of created our own meta back then. He’s real, a person I can relate to. V17 / Collin “Like a Bos”, for encouraging me when I was in doubt. He helped me alot with important training for Worlds, you're the best man. Infinity Cypher / Arbin T. for helping me make tough/ critical decisions on my team. (EVs, IVs, Natures) Another great friend who uses originality in all of his teams. Superpokemon67 / Jonathan Hiller, for his encouragement and for really being one of the best Seniors I’ve battled. Elite_4_Allen / Fake Tyler for going with the creative team, thought he would also be one of those dominating forces, but he got haxed out. Kiwidawg7 / Eujin Jang for being cool as always, she went 5-2. 13th Place I believe, please correct me if I’m wrong. (Picture stolen from Lucario Jr. haha) 1337 / DeVon Ingram for WINNING 1ST PLACE. TrollFreak / Raushaid for showing me how to hyperlink (Because I am a scrub at warstories) Sad he couldn’t make it to regionals. Dimsun / Toler Webb for starting the party, really the first person I talked to, he ended up getting 4th Place. The Mantyke, Ncsbert, and Lucario Jr. were all cool guys, I think Mantyke got 3rd? Zach Attack and Joseph representing Tennessee, and Joseph in his 1st tournament going 6-2, he was beasting. MudkipMaster, I didn’t spot you this year. D: Crow380 for winning 1st Place, after Round 1. Epic and I knew he was going to win. Lol Just called it. Double shout out to Aquakyogr3 and Jrank for their 1st Place finishes at the Crestwood Regional, wish I could have been there… Major Shout out to Team Gun-Leo, you guys have been there ever since 2009. I also want to thank my few supporters for rooting for me and anyone else I missed, who I will possibly later include. If there is anyone I forgot to mention in my shout outs please inform me, because I like to include everyone who deserves mentioning (wouldn’t that take forever). Thanks for the read, I hope it wasn’t too long! Worst year for me ever! :D I leave you with this.