San Diego, California: August 11-15, 2011 as told by andrea I never wrote a warstory for any of the previous four VGC events I went to, but finally decided that the fifth event was worthy enough. The VGC 2011 metagame came to a close in San Diego this past weekend and I was lucky enough to attend Worlds this year with Chad. Because I have a monopoly on the most VGC pictures from Worlds, I decided to finally reveal them to the public via this warstory. Preface: I suppose I’m finally a familiar face around Smogon by now. I attended Nationals last year and have risen as a popular wifier for giving out free shiny VGC mons to competitors this year and last. I have had a pretty dreadful VGC season this year. In DC, I made it to round three. In Newark I lost round one to a very unfortunate match-up. Nats LCQ I made it to round two. After so many disappointing events I thought that it would be fun to go try one last time but ultimately watch and cheer on everyone else in Worlds. The main reason to go would be to take a fantastic vacation to California and also to see everyone one last time before VGC 2012. Chad and I managed to catch some discounted plane tickets to California and TTS was amazing enough to offer space in his free room. With finances in check, Chad and I were ready for our trip to California. Before we go straight to the event, lets meet our main characters! Andrea “andrea” Shaffer Description: Our protagonist. Stereotypical naive blonde but also a girl on the internet! Original resident chicka that hangs with the boys. Chad “Magnus” Skoch Description: The brawny man himself; tears up the court no matter the sport. Huy “Huy” Ha Description: Burnt out after a rough season. Still pretty ballin' either way. There's a new dynasty in town, amirite? Duy “Bianca222” Ha Description: Hoopster extraordinaire and hard-core America fan. Always down for a good time. Len “Alaka” Deuel Description: Tall, skinny, and able to abide by all correct traffic laws even when the other cars DON'T. Scott “Synre” Glaza Description: One pretty bad dude. Orders bottles of pop and doesn't get them opened. Orders endless lunch but finds the end. Able to trick waitresses into second-guessing what kind of guy he really is. Alan “Dubulous” Sutterlin Description: Another baller. One awesome substitute guardian when you can't trade in games if you're under the age of eighteen! Kathleen “Age of Kings/AoK” Description: Holy goodness another girl on the internet! Knows the best local places to go and is oodles of fun no matter the situation. Danny “TTS” Zollner Description: Best roommate ever. Best person ever period for providing San Diego housing. Carries his trusty laptop wherever he can and able to provide superb commentating skills while streaming. Mike “OmegaDonut” Suleski Description: America's last hope and honorary Ha brother number three. Excellent double date partner. There are about 40 more characters that I don’t have pictures for, so stay tuned for shout-outs at the end. ;) Chapter One: Thursday, August 11, 2011 My flight with Chad left Pittsburgh at 3:30 PM, so we left around noon because we were extremely anxious for our first plane ride ever. We landed in Newark at 4:45, just missing seeing ExpertEvan board his flight to San Diego. Instead of getting on with him, our tickets had us sit around in boring Newark til 7 before we went on a 6 hour flight to San Diego. Pics from the airports & plane rides! (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Pics from the airports & plane rides! (open) Pics from the airports & plane rides! (close) Anxious before our first flight. First flight EVER for both of us! Lovely clouds. <3 Huy was kind enough to pick us up once our plane arrived at 10 PM. PBB shouted out the window to flag us down and “Sixonesix” helped us get our bags into the trunk. We made it to the hotel shortly and headed up to Ray Rizzo’s room where most Smogonites were already socializing. The room was quite crowded, so we tried to contact TTS and get into the hotel room where we would be staying, however… TTS would not answer his phone! We went down to the room anyways in case he was sleeping; Chad banged on the door, also yelled “housekeeping!” in a girly voice for good measure, but there was no answer. We gave up and went back to Ray’s room. About twenty minutes later TTS called to say that he was in the room and was apparently a very very heavy sleeper. He let Chad, Synre, Huy, Duy and I in and we eventually went to bed. Chapter Two: Friday, August 12, 2011 The three hour time zone adjustment really didn’t help out for sleeping. I know I was up for sure by 6:30. Chad and I got up, got ready, and went to Starbucks for some breakfast before heading over to the Juniors & Seniors LCQ. There we met up with a whole lot of Smogonites; some new faces and some old ones! We watched Jeremy/AlphaOmega and kamz make it through the LCQ but also watched as Maski get knocked out. I had a ton of last minute trading to do with some fellow Masters LCQers, but afterwards it was time to check out the hotel! Trading with Sixonesix... Trading with Len and PBB! We found this fantastic Pokémon With You promotion that asked for notes and/or artwork for earthquake victims in Japan. Chad and I were the first to create pictures and they let us hang them up on the wall. We got an Oshawott and Snivy hat for contributing artwork. Chad hard at work coloring his Tepig. Our pictures displayed on the wall! There was also some lovely card artwork enlarged and on display by the LCQ registration line. We even got our first pictures with the inflatable starters (even though this was our fourth event this year). Card artwork and Chandrea with the starters. (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Card artwork and Chandrea with the starters. (open) Card artwork and Chandrea with the starters. (close) It was time to get in the LCQ line, but not before Ultimatedra gave me a fantastic present. I had mentioned how much I loved the competitor shirts earlier, so he gifted me with this super amazing XXXXXXL shirt that, well… I’m not sure what I’m going to do with! It might turn into a pillow because the artwork is so gorgeous. A staff member passed by and said that the shirt looked great on me and he asked for a picture. 6XL for the win. He said it looked good on me! Afterwards there wasn’t much more to do but sit and wait for the line to move. We got in line around 11 and registration didn’t even start til 1, but there was plenty of time for practice battles. We sat with AoK and played the people around us to get ready for the event. Vicky, Lauren, and Mike "OmegaDonut" Suleski waiting in line. ExpertEvan *cough*Jeff*Cough* and Shinkou waiting in line, too! Soon enough, registration began and we sat down at our round one tables. AoK was paired versus a guy she played in line earlier, I was across from a very friendly guy we had also been next to in line, and Chad was led away to another table versus a Japanese father. Ohmygosh. Guys. My first ever legitimate warstory. My Team Hank (Musharna) @ Leftovers Nature: Modest EVs: 252 HP/252 SpA -Trick Room -Helping Hand -HP Fighting 70 -Psychic Dean (Vanilluxe) @ Nevermeltice Nature: Brave EVs: 252 Atk/252 HP -Ice Shard -Icicle Spear -Substitute -Explosion Dr. Venture (Zoroark) @ Focus Sash EVs: 252 Atk/252 Spe Nature: Adamant -Night Slash -Sucker Punch -Counter -Protect BrokSamson (Conkeldurr) @ Sitrus Berry EVs: 252 HP/196 SpDef/Everything else in Attack Nature: Careful -Mach Punch -Drain Punch -Payback -Protect Level 48 <3marn0rz (Amoonguss) @ Lum Berry EVs: 252 HP/126 Def/126 SpDef Nature: Relaxed -Protect -Rage Powder -Spore -Giga Drain TheMonarch (Jellicent) @Water Gem EVs: 252 HP/252 SpA Nature: Quiet -Water Spout -Shadow Ball -Protect -Trick Room My team is fun and guess what else… It doesn’t have standard garbage on it! (Well, except maybe Amoonguss.) The metagame sucks this year with everything speed-tying and being the same, so why not use different stuff and have some fun? My favorite combo became Musharna/Amoonguss in the front with Zoroark as the third slot and Conkeldurr in the back. This is significant because Zoroark can be disguised as your last pokemon! I loved swapping him in and taking a couple psychic attacks as my opponent blindly stared into space, wondering why Conkeldurr wasn’t getting hit. It seems that once most people deduce that Zoroark isn’t leading, they think he doesn’t exist. Even better than using him as the third slot was swapping out a lead for my fourth slot, then switching in Zoroark as Musharna or Amoonguss. Your opponent gets really confused. Round One Round One Pics (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Round One Pics (open) Round One Pics (close) Kathleen with our good luck charms. <3 Me with the good luck charms! (Stolen from AoK. <3 <3) Synre giving his opponent the stink-eye! So my opponent was really friendly beforehand and I started out Amoonguss/Musharna versus Volcarona/Haxorus. I went for some STAB Ice Shards while trying to Trick Room or something but this Haxorus was bulky as heck! It was taking 12-25% from ice cream. I asked if his Haxorus was bulky and he said that he EVd it very carefully to take minimal damage. Volcarona was taking maybe 20% from Psychics and I asked again why he only EVd in his defenses. He laughed and said he had an HP boosting nature (at which I laughed on the inside, n00b). He ended up 4-0ing me with his bulky stuff but I had to call for a hack check during the last couple turns. He assured me that he caught the stuff himself and doesn’t hack and gave his girlfriend thumbs up when he won as we both waited on Marilland to come over. I felt terrible on the inside, but I would have felt worse if I let a hacker get away with knocking me out of the LCQ and I was sure that there was no way his stuff could take that little from my attacks. In the meantime, AoK beat her opponent and moved on to round two. Finally Marilland came over and took my cart- I was clean of course! He pops in my opponents game and goes “Ohhh… well there it is!” His leads had 600 EVs in every stat. >_> Round Two I sat beside AoK again and she had to play Mrs. Arnold! A guy about my age came over and we chatted about how we were happy to make it past round one. I don’t remember much of the battle… I do believe I won 3-0. Me versus a very nice guy and Kathleen versus Mrs. Arnold! Round Three The staff member led me to a television screen. Soon enough, I saw an SPF member come over and sit down. It was Tween Star! I was prepared for a tough match, and it sure was! Let me give a nice summary. Turn one, his Thundurus Thunder Waves and Fully Paralyzes my Musharna as I attempt to Trick Room. I Protect Amoonguss against a Psychic from opposing Musharna. Turn two, Musharna is again fully paralyzed. I switch Vanilluxe into a critical hit Psychic to save my shroom (it would have survived the Psychic Gem otherwise) and Musharna is Fully Paralyzed. Turn Three I Protect Shroom versus another Psychic and Musharna finally gets Trick Room up! Turn Four I attempt to Spore the Musharna but I think he switches? My Musharna is Fully Paralyzed again and Thundurus Thunder Waves my Mushroom for another Full Paralysis. Turn Five I attack his mons but mine die to a crit something and I don’t remember. Blah blah blah end of match- I lose to 6 FPs and 2 crits on things that mattered overall. Not bad for my last VGC 2011 match! <3 Round three is starting! Thinking hard. What most of my match looked like! I congratulated Tween Star and wished him luck onto his journey to the Top 8, hoping the hax gods remained on his side. If anything, I’m glad I lost to hax (and yes, folks, this is what real legitimate hax looks like) instead of me losing for being a lousy player. There was nothing I could do nor Tween Star to prevent the outcome, and I was sad to see him get knocked out round four. =[ Also also I am tired of seeing people say they lose to hax in their warstories just because they were outplayed and there was one minor flinch or critical hit on something that doesn’t change the outcome of the game. If you would like a video tutorial on hax, go watch champ Ray Rizzo’s round two Finals match! [/rant] Anyways, I was glad that my match was on TV so others can attest to the lousy match I had. Chad and I watched as fellow Ducks and Smogonites made their way into the top 12 and then the top 8 after byes were given out. Congrats go out to fellow Ducks OD, tad38, and Sixonesix! =D Round Four matches. Right before the top 12 matches. After all the matches concluded, we socialized with our fellow internet friends before heading out to lunch. Chad, Synre, Dubs, and I hopped into Alaka’s car and drove to Lucha Liebre, a Gourmet Taco Shop that Paul “makiri” Hornak had seen on Man vs. Food. Alaka’s car and/or driving skills were officially dubbed Mario Kart during the first five minutes of the ride. (We still love you, Len! Thank you for being a wonderful driver all weekend. <3) Of course, we were the first to arrive and stand in line. (This became a reoccurring theme for Len/Chad/Andrea.) The rest of the Smogon crew eventually showed up. I ordered a quesadilla and Chad ordered the Surfin’ California burrito which was quite a work of art and also extremely delicious. We crammed three tables together and talked about the morning’s events and tomorrow’s tournament. Greyson “Greysong” Garren bought a pink Lucha Liebra shirt and Paul attempted to buy one of the Luchadore masks. It was a fantastic meal! Everyone else getting in line. Delicious burrito and quesadilla! Greysong's pink shirt! Heading towards making history... the first ever organized athletic activity Smogon has ever seen... Basketball. Yes, the first time our group allotted time for sports at a Smocon. We drove Dubs to his hotel to change into his clothes and it was really amusing. Alaka knew where Dubs’ hotel more than he did and even though we all pointed out which way he would have to walk down the street to get into the building, Dubs still went the wrong way. Twenty seconds after he got out of the car we all heard some feet running and looked to the right to see Dubs sprinting down the sidewalk towards the front door. Pretty funny stuff! At the court, we met up with some familiar faces. AoK, Supe, Synre, gec and I all sat and watched on the sidelines. There was a five minute warm-up period where the boys tried to make a basket to qualify as team captain… It took quite some time but Chad and Tyler emerged victorious! Video: First Basket! Teams were chosen and pretty soon the spectators figured out why we play video games over sports. Video: Game One Begins Video: Team Selection for Game Two Video: Game Two Starts Video: On to Game Three! For a more detailed account of the basketball games, please visit Duy's fantastic warstory entitled Homecourt Advantage. Lots of basketball pictures! (Move your mouse to reveal the content) Lots of basketball pictures! (open) Lots of basketball pictures! (close) Look at BadIntent booking it down the court!!!!!!!! Going for something more "artsy" here... I love the lines on the basketball court with the blurry image of the guys in the background. <3 Another "artsy" attempt. Watching from the sidelines! Taking a break! After basketball- the guys in their matching jerseys. (Move your mouse to reveal the content) After basketball- the guys in their matching jerseys. (open) After basketball- the guys in their matching jerseys. (close) After three games of basketball we went back to the hotel. Dubs, Synre, Chad and I went down to the pool to cool off. The guys loved the cold water after playing basketball so hard, but I just sat in the hot tub and tried to stay warm. It started getting dark so Chad and I left to go to bed. California was amazing so far.