This is a story of perseverance. It's a story of dedication. It's a story of a Pokemon who has waited 3 generations for his chance to shine. That chance finally arrived on May 8th, 2010, and he grabbed it with both his claws and didn't let go. Let's meet the cast of characters, shall we? Parasect aka "The Franchise" Team Articuno64 of the Mighty Ducks' Canadian division is quarterbacked by none other than Parasect aka "The Franchise". Parasect does it all. He uses Protect to give his partner a chance to Trick Room him to the top of the speed charts. He puts the opposition's team to sleep with his perfectly accurate Spore, abusing the lack of Sleep Clause like a true champion. He then Substitutes to keep the opposition from trying to pull a fast one on him as they wake up. When the time is right, he mercilessly tears apart the opposition with his powerful Seed Bomb attack. Parasect was once asked in an interview how he would deal with an opposing Ho-oh, to which he famously responded, "by being a balla." Parasect's Supporting Cast Parasect isn't the only sleep abuser on this team. Breloom gets the slumber party started with Dialga at his side. He's got Protect, Substitute, Spore, and Focus Punch along with a Toxic Orb to take advantage of Poison Heal. Dialga starts out every match with a Trick Room. From there, he can bombard the opposition with Dragon Pulses and Flamethrowers. His speciality is getting KOed in one turn. Palkia is Parasect's right hand man. He provides secondary Trick Room support should Dialga bite the dust, Dragon Pulse for a strong damaging attack to a single opponent, and Surf to damage both opponents in addition to healing Parasect thanks to Parasect's Dry Skin ability. Parasect's Fan Club The Mighty Ducks are certified members of the Parasect Fan Club. They all have monthly subscriptions to the Parasect magazine from which they order a multitude of Parasect merchandise. They all use Parasect Spore to help them get to sleep at night (except Duy, who can fall asleep at any time and any place). The Tournament My memory is a bit foggy so a few of the details may be wrong, but the overall gist of each match is chronicled here. Round 1 Parasect's first victim was a pretty cool guy. He didn't use any ubers but he held his own anyway, and the final result was very close. The opponent sent out Alakazam and Magnezone Articuno64 sent out Breloom and Dialga Looks like my standard opening should work here Breloom Protects Alakazam Psychics Breloom, but Breloom is protecting himself Magnezone uses Light Screen Dialga uses Trick Room So far so good, although the Light Screen will play a large role in prolonging the match Alakazam switches to Lickilicky Breloom uses Spore on Magnezone Magnezone is asleep Dialga Dragon Pulses Lickilicky for some decent damage I wouldn't have wanted to keep Alakazam out under Trick Room either. With Magnezone asleep, it's time for Breloom to Spore Lickilicky Magnezone switches to Dusknoir Lickilicky uses Explosion Breloom faints Dialga nearly faints 3-3. I forgot about Lickilicky's calling card Explosion and that he would outspeed Breloom in Trick Room. Out comes my Parasect, out comes his Alakazam Dusknoir uses Shadow Sneak on the nearly fainted Dialga, which critical hits, but Dialga still survives Parasect Spores Dusknoir Dialga Dragon Pulses Dusknoir, but Light Screen and Leftovers prevent it from doing a lot Alakazam Psychics Parasect, brings it to a bit below half health Alakazam switches to Magnezone Parasect Spores Magnezone, who is already asleep Dusknoir is asleep Dialga Dragon Pulses Dusknoir again to wear it down a bit more Trick Room expires With both opponents sleeping, I have a good opportunity to renew Trick Room. Still, I want to make sure Parasect stays alive Magnezone switches to Alakazam Parasect Protects Dusknoir wakes up and attacks Parasect, but Parasect is protecting himself Dialga uses Trick Room I know I can't outspeed Dusknoir with its Shadow Sneak, so I decide to go after Alakazam Dusknoir uses Shadow Sneak and finally finishes off Dialga Parasect Spores Alakazam Alakazam is asleep 3-2. Out comes my Palkia to replace the fainted Dialga. Parasect Spores Dusknoir Dusknoir is asleep Alakazam is asleep Palkia Dragon Pulses Dusknoir, continuing Dialga's quest to wear that thing down I think this is where the opponent's Light Screen faded. With both opponents asleep and Parasect having enough health for a Substitute, I decide to go that route. My memory of the details gets a bit foggier from here. Parasect uses Substitute Dusknoir is asleep I think Alakazam wakes up here and hits Palkia with Psychic Palkia uses Surf, doing respectable damage to Alakazam and Dusknoir while healing Parasect Parasect finishes off Alakazam with Seed Bomb I think Dusknoir wakes up here and attacks Palkia with something Palkia Surfs again, hurting Dusknoir and healing Parasect even more Trick Room expires 2-2. The opponent's sleeping Magnezone comes in for the fainted Alakazam. At this point, I decide not to renew Trick Room and just keep Surfing. I think Magnezone wakes up here and renews Light Screen Palkia Surfs, healing Parasect to nearly full health, almost killing Dusknoir, and doing decent damage to Magnezone Dusknoir attacks Palkia with something Parasect finishes off Dusknoir with Seed Bomb 2-1 Magnezone Thunderbolts Palkia, finishing it off Parasect Seed Bombs Magnezone for a bit of damage 1-1 Magnezone Thunderbolts Parasect, but I can't remember whether it breaks the sub or not Parasect gets a CH Seed Bomb on Magnezone, which almost killed it Magnezone Thunderbolts Parasect, but it's nowhere near enough Parasect finishes off Magnezone with Seed Bomb 1-0 In a post game interview, Parasect was asked about how he killed 3 of the opponent's 4 Pokemon with Seed Bomb. Round 2 Parasect's second victim was another nice guy who seemed to be interested by my use of Trick Room. This match didn't end up quite as close as the previous one, but it was no cakewalk. The opponent sent out Garchomp and Hippowdon Articuno64 sent out Breloom and Dialga Great, Sand Veil. I decide to go with my standard opening, to unpleasant results! Breloom Protects Garchomp uses Earthquake, hitting Dialga for major damage and his partner Hippowdon for some as well Hippowdon uses Earthquake, finishing off Dialga. Garchomp didn't mind the damage 4-3. I wasn't expecting double Earthquake, but I suppose his Pokemon could take the hits well enough for that to be smart. I send out Palkia, and now Breloom can't Protect. When he sees Breloom's Toxic Orb activate, he has a realization that I am using Facade. I wasn't using Facade, so I didn't say anything in response Garchomp uses Earthquake, doing decent damage to both Breloom and Palkia and some more to Hippowdon Breloom Spores Hippowdon Hippowdon is asleep Palkia uses Trick Room Breloom's Poison Heal starts to recover his damage pretty quickly from here on out I'm scared of Sand Veil, so with Hippowdon asleep I double target Garchomp Hippowdon is asleep but gets what I think was a Quick Claw activation. Good to know Breloom Spores Garchomp, but alas, Sand Veil causes it to miss Palkia OHKOs Garchomp with Dragon Pulse. Good thing I double targetted 3-3. The opponent replaces Garchomp with Mewtwo Sleeping Hippowdon gets another Quick Claw activation. I think he might be the slowest thing out here anyway though Breloom Spores Mewtwo Palkia Surfs, finishing Hippowdon and hurting Mewtwo a bit. Breloom can take it because his Poison Heal has been keeping him healthy Mewtwo is asleep 3-2. The opponent replaces Hippowdon with Dialga. My memory is a bit foggy for the rest of this match, but Breloom died somehow. I think Mewtwo might have woken up and used Psychic. In any case, it became 2-2 with my Parasect and Palkia against his Mewtwo and Dialga. The last two turns here are what I think happened, but it might have gone a bit differently. What I am sure about is the 2-0 final score Parasect Spores Mewtwo I think Dialga attacks Palkia here, but Palkia takes it Palkia uses Surf to hit both opponents for decent damage Mewtwo is asleep Trick Room expires Mewtwo is asleep Palkia finishes Dialga with Dragon Pulse Parasect finishes Mewtwo with Seed Bomb 2-0 In another post game interview, Parasect was congratulated on making it to the third round and was asked about what his team did to practice for the tournament. Round 3 This match may have been the best that I have ever had, and it's certainly the best that I've had on a real Pokemon game (meaning not on a simulator). I didn't know that my opponent was from Smogon, but I was not surprised to find out later that he is on these forums. He clearly knew what he was doing and seemed like a great guy. His username is "uninstructed", which is kind of funny since we took turns schooling each other in this match. The opponent sent out Toxicroak and Honchkrow Articuno64 sent out Breloom and Dialga Right away, he says that he's seen someone lead Breloom and Dialga before, so he might know what's coming. Pretty much all that I knew about Toxicroak and Honchkrow was that Toxicroak gets Dry Skin and that Honchkrow gets Insomnia (I didn't know at the time that they each had alternative abilities too, but I never found out which they had anyway). Insomnia is obviously a red flag given that my strategy is Spore abuse. I decided to go with my standard opening again. Breloom Protects Toxicroak uses Fake Out on Breloom, but Breloom is protecting himself Honchkrow uses Taunt on Dialga Dialga cannot Trick Room after the Taunt Yikes. I wasn't sure what moves Toxicroak and Honchkrow know so I just tried my luck going after them this turn, choosing to Spore Toxicroak and Dragon Pulse Honchkrow. Toxicroak uses Low Kick to OHKO Dialga Honchkrow uses Brave Bird to OHKO Breloom Not the best of starts and I'm down 4-2. Out comes Parasect and Palkia. At this point I'm pretty sure that I'm going to lose, but I go for a carbon copy of my standard opening with my back 2 Pokemon. Parasect Protects Toxicroak uses Sucker Punch, which fails against one of my Pokemon Honchkrow uses Sucker Punch, which fails against my other Pokemon Palkia uses Trick Room Now we're in business. uninstructed said that he didn't expect Trick Room on Palkia. As I'm picking my next move, uninstructed exclaims that he just picked the wrong move for the next turn, and then says that he now realizes I'm going to Spore. He is correct. Toxicroak uses Sucker Punch, which fails against Parasect Honchkrow uses Sucker Punch, which does good damage to Palkia Parasect Spores Toxicroak Palkia uses Dragon Pulse to OHKO Honchkrow 3-2. Is there now some hope for a comeback? He sends out his Palkia to replace Honchkrow. As the next turn is being carried out, he says that he hopes I OHKO Toxicroak. I start to realize why he wants this, but he doesn't get his wish. His Palkia Protects Parasect Spores the opposing Palkia, but Palkia protected itself My Palkia uses Dragon Pulse on Toxicroak and leaves it with barely a sliver of health Toxicroak is asleep If I had OHKOed Toxicroak, then he would have been able to bring out his next pokemon and have two Pokemon awake and able to attack me. Luckily for me, it didn't happen. His Palkia tries to Protect again, but it failed. I acknowledged to him that trying for the consecutive Protects was a good risk to take here Parasect Spores the opposing Palkia, putting it to sleep this time My Palkia finishes Toxicroak with Dragon Pulse 2-2. Out comes his Kyogre to replace Toxicroak. Drizzle comes into play here, which heals Parasect at the end of every turn Parasect Spores Kyogre My Palkia uses Dragon Pulse on his Palkia, which does good damage and consumes his Haban Berry Kyogre is asleep His Palkia is asleep Trick Room expires Things are looking pretty good for me right about now. I decide that with both opponents asleep, it is a good time for Parasect to Substitute. I also decide to not renew Trick Room. My memory of the next few turns might be a little off, but one thing is certain: My Palkia bit the dust. Here is my best recollection of what happened. His Palkia is asleep Kyogre wakes up and uses Thunder on my Palkia, putting him in danger My Palkia uses Dragon Pulse on Kyogre for decent damage Parasect uses Substitute, but gets half of that HP back from the rain His Palkia is asleep Kyogre uses Thunder to finish off my Palkia Parasect uses Spore to put Kyogre back to lullaby land 2-1. Parasect is now alone, staring down two of the strongest Pokemon in the game. Can he prevail? Kyogre was freshly put to sleep, but Palkia has been asleep for awhile and I'm afraid of what could happen when he wakes up. I decide to Spore him this turn even though he's currently asleep. His Palkia wakes up and uses Spacial Rend, breaking Parasect's sub Kyogre is asleep Parasect uses Spore on Palkia I like it. Not wanting to take any chances with my superstar, I have him create a sub again His Palkia is asleep Kyogre is asleep Parasect uses Substitute From here, Parasect started Seed Bombing and never looked back. Kyogre fell first, and Palkia fell soon after. Parasect had come back for the 1-0 victory to get me to the finalists lounge with the majority of my fellow Mighty Ducks. Celebrations and good times ensued. EDIT: It turns out that uninstructed was able to save the video of this match. Thanks to Noxe for uploading! Some of the details were a bit different than I wrote in the story, but that's memory for you. Naturally, Parasect was interviewed again after his stunning comeback. He had this to say: Because we were pretty close to the front of the line, we had to wait quite awhile in the finalists lounge. I was the last Duck to get in there, and at that time, it seemed like we comprised about half of the finalists. The other Ducks were all anxious to get started with Round 4, but I was enjoying the break. I had only played a Nintendo DS for the first time the night before and only had a single practice battle with my team (which was graciously trained and assembled for me by zerowing, a champion in more ways than one!). I bought my Heart Gold cart 3 hours before the start of the tournament. Under these circumstances, I was just happy to get to that point. Eventually, the finalists lounge filled up to about 50 people. A number of byes were handed out for Round 4, but I was not one of the lucky ones. After several minutes of tension and buildup, Round 4 was underway. Round 4 Just like my previous three opponents, my Round 4 opponent was a good guy who shook hands with me. This was by far the shortest of my matches, and you'll see why. The opponent sent out Latios and Golem Articuno64 sent out Breloom and Dialga Golem's Earthquake is a threat to Dialga, but I figure it is worth taking one to get off a Trick Room, so I go with my standard opening. Breloom Protects Latios Draco Meteors Dialga for plenty of damage Golem Earthquakes to finish off Dialga 4-3. I didn't expect to be double-targeted, but I am still feeling good at this point. Latios was crippled from Draco Meteor's special attack drop, and I knew I could OHKO Golem, so I sent out Palkia. I chose for Breloom to Spore Latios, but it was not to be. Latios Protected Palkia Surfed to hit my Breloom and activate Golem's Focus Sash. When I see the Focus Sash activation, I am thinking "shit". Golem uses Explosion to kill both Palkia and Breloom. 3-1. It's over. Out comes Parasect to meet Latios and my opponent's next Pokemon which I don't remember. Without Trick Room in play, Parasect is a sitting duck. I don't remember what his Latios was paired with in the end, but whatever it was activated Parasect's Focus Sash using Blizzard. To add insult to injury, it also froze. But of course it didn't matter, because Latios proceeded to finish him off. Parasect is KOed for the first and only time in the tournament, and I suffer a 3-0 loss at the hands of a Golem. But Golem wasn't content with eliminating me from the tournament. He felt compelled to follow me around and get in my face no matter where I went in Seattle over the next couple of days. My fellow Duck skarm lost in the same round as I, but Duy made it to the top 8 and lost to zerowing, while zerowing and Fish were the last two standing before zerowing became the champion yet again. An extremely strong showing by the Ducks in Seattle, and here's to more success at the other regionals and at nationals. I expected to have a good time at VGC, but I had an even better time than I expected. Although I haven't been especially into Pokemon in the last few years, I've sorta caught the fever again because of the great environment at VGC (other Ducks told me later that they had similar experiences at their first VGCs). Since the top 4 finalists all won new Nintendo DSes, I bought Fish's old one, so I'll be catching up with the latest generation of Pokemon. For those of you who aren't into Pokemon as much as you used to be or aren't sure if you want to try your hand at the doubles metagame, I strongly recommend getting to a VGC if you can make it happen, especially if you go with your friends. Doubles has infinitely more possible strategies than singles and you never know how far you can get with a crazy idea. Even though I fell a couple battles shy of cracking the top 16 in Seattle, I'm now strongly leaning towards going to Indy for the last chance tournament if I can afford the trip (though I can't guarantee you'll see me use Parasect again, because now everyone will be worried about countering it). I hope to see many of you there.