Alaka's Atlanta Attempt
Alaka's Altanta Attemp
The sign outside of the Gwinnett Center where the VGC occurred
What do a giant pink blob and a ghastly bug exoskeleton have in common? Both are terribly annoying end game win conditions based on the few things that can beat them being removed from play. The difference? The exoskeleton is much more commonly, and easily, teched against, and thus:
Yes, thats right, Blissey. I (and everybody else) realized the metagame was hugely special, and the majority of the few Physical Pokemon were used as Fake-Out leads, ie Hitmontop, Toxicroak, Infernape. Combine that with the fact that Metagross will be leading most likely, and will probably explode, Giratina often still looses to Blissey, and Groudon is easy to lure out with the temptation of altering the weather, and you have yourself a Blissey weak metagame. I found Kyogre Abamasnow to be a useful lead for Blissey, because they didn't really give Hitmontop, Toxicroak etc a reason to switch, while still beating them with Blizzard spam. Giratina was necessary as an anti Explosion measure, as a 2 for 1 Explosion turn one or two is a worst case scenario, forcing Blissey out without giving me the opportunity to weaken my opponents team where I wanted it weakened. I found Yache to be the more valuable Berry for Giratina with the rediculous amount of Blizzards running around, and the fact the Giratina is rarely 2HKO'd with Yache. That leaves the MVP, Blissey, Icy Wind allows Blissey to be a team Player, lowering things speeds so Giratina can avoid Spacial Rend and Shadow Force away, or Kyogre fire off a Blizzard before taking a Thunder. The rest is pretty self explanatory, fun for all.
I drove the last 3 hours of the trip from Dallas Saturday morning, and then arrived around noon. I went in and found Matt, who told me I should probably get in line soon as it was pretty long, so into line I went. Mingot came and found me to give me my Lugia, as I wasn't able to receive it over Wifi before I left because of a power outage. I stood in line with a nice Pokedad whose kids had done decently in the morning, and now he was trying his own hand, he however lost round 2.
This was actually one of my most difficult wins the day, but thats pretty much all I remember about it. I know it came down to a once Dragon Danced, once Icy Winded Feraligatr against Blissey and Giratina in the Rain, with Giratina having taken an Ice Punch already, but being up in the air. I Icy Winded with Blissey to drop Feraligatr's speed below Giratina's while Blissey ate a Waterfall for 80% and Feraligatr took a Shadow Force for about 75%, the next turn I outsped and Dragon Clawed ftw, gg.
This guy was pretty cool, and said he was a Smogon lurker, I think I convinced him to come play in Live Tournaments some time (shameless plug). He lead Ape+Palkia. I double Protected turn one to avoid Fake-Out and start Hail damage, then Double Blizzarded. Ape brought Abamasnow to Sash while Palkia Thundered Kyogre, the double Blizzard goes and brings both to red. I double protect for Hail damage so that Ice Shard can ko my choice of enemies next turn, but he double switches into Scizor and .... Blissey xD. I chuckle on the inside, but then quickly turn to the problem at hand. Scizor is a problem, it resists Ice, Dragon, and Ghost and is immune to Toxic, basically nothing but Kyogre can touch it. I protect with Obama, but he fires a HH'd Bullet Punch at Kyogre. However, Kyogre takes it with pride and fires off a Surf for significant damage to Scizor. This turn I Blizzard+Surf and he Bullet Punches Kyogre for the ko, Blizzard goes and ko's Scizor and freezes Blissey (more on frozen nurses later). In comes Ape for him, and Giratina for me. The rest of the match is uneventful as I Shadow Sneak away Palkia and Ape before they move again, while Blissey tries to defrost and Helping Hand. Finally I take down Blissey with Dragon Claw, gg.
My Round 2 opponent, mid battle.
My Round 3 opponent, just before starting.
Well after two pretty intense opening matches I'm ready for something easy, and sure enough its a Milotic+Charizard lead. Though he manages to take out both Kyogre and Abamasnow with a double crit double Burn Heat Wave (Kyogre dies from burn damage way later in the match) I sweep through relatively easily, gg.
Me after getting through what would be my second haxxiest match of the day.
After finishing Round 3 round I went up to the the middle, and the next station to open up was on the screen, but I told the judge I'd really rather not (in order to not reveal Blissey too much) and that Dave had said I didn't have to, so he let me play somewhere else. Then the next two people to finish were a FlSt Pokemon league player, and Cakes who I totally called buddy rule on. The judge started jokingly giving me a hard time about being so demanding, asking me if I'd like it if he went and got me lunch too.
Talking to the judge.
Here. There. Where?
This round I was starting to second guess Blissey against randoms and decide to bring Ludicolo instead, and so play Ludicolo+Kyogre / Abomasnow+Giratina. My opponent was a nice girl, her Psychic Snorlax, Ludicolo Ice Beaming, slower than Ludicolo, Rayquaza, and Stone Edging Mewtwo however were less nice, gg.
Round 4 from afar
Being walked to the finalist lounge.
Whew, finalist lounge, something I failed to reach the week before. Mike checks my game and I go through fine (thanks eep) and go talk to Team_Rose, Mattj, Wesley, Mingot, and Mal some before going to Lunch at Chik-Fil-A.
No 511 this year, right?
Looking good in the finalist lounge.
Chilling with Mingot and his daughter Mal during the Lunch break.
Round of 64
I was one of 27 players to pull the Bye card, woo, gg.
Round of 32
I had to wait quite a while for someone from the round of 64 to finish for me play, I ended up playing Jackson, aka Albinoloon, who recognized me by shirt. He told me he had been asking people all day if they were Alaka; I was flattered. He led Giratina/Ludicolo, and I was back to my standard team now, so I double Blizarded. Ludicolo Fake-Outed Kyogre and Giratina took off, before the flinch message for Kyogre, then Abomasnow fired off its Blizzard for severe damage to Ludicolo. Next turn something took the Shadow Force and I double Blizzarded double ko. the game went downhill for him from there, but he played well and was pretty counter teamed, gg.
One challenge left before nats.
Round of 16
This was not a fun match, I'll preface this with that. He lead level 1 smeargle + Cresselia, I double Blizzard. He switches in Groudon who eats two Blizzards and goes down (silent victory here as one less obstacle for Blissey sweep) while Cress TRs. Back comes Smeargle, but I want to save Abamsnow for the easy ko on Smeargle, so I switch it for Giratina and protect with Kyogre. Smeargle Dark Voids and puts Giratina to sleep and Cress moonlights. Next turn Smeargle Endeavors Kyogre expecting to be able to take down Kyogre with Cress's attack, but Sitrus kicks in and saves me and lets me fire off a surf to bring smeargle to its sash. Next turn Smeargle once again Dark Voids putting Kyogre to sleep. This kicks off a three turn stretch where neither of us do much, before he finally ends it by using Parish Song with Smeargle. This forces my hand as I don't want to wake up and Shadow Force only to faint before I have another chance to switch, so I switch right away to Abamasnow to take down Smeargle. Snow goes to sleep, but Smeargle dies to hail, and Kyogre dies to Psychic from Cress. I bring in Giratina and he brings in Dialga. I Dragon Claw him for around 50% while he Roar of Times Giratina for the ko. I then bring in Bissey and Protect + Blizzard, and the whole thing ends that turn. Dialga must recharge, and Abomasnow wakes up and hits Dialga for almost the ko. Then hail kicks in and kos Dialga, while his own Perish Song kos Cress, gg.
The growing interest in Blissey, or maybe just the incredible length of my match.
Nick McCord the best MC ever, I mean, he has MC right there in his name.
Round of 8
I'm playing Wesley, a skilled player who had just knocked out matt and was my toughest match in Dallas last year when I played him again in top 8. He lead with a Hitmontop and a Palkia, I double Protected turn 1 to nullify Fake-Out, before starting to double Blizzard. He took out Abomasnow turn 1, but ate Kyogre's Blizzards, including a crit on Palkia. Next turn I bring in Giratina who he double targets while I protect with it and Kyogre double Blizzards for the double ko. Then in comes an Ape and a Kyogre, Ape is a bit of a threat, but it can't touch Giratina and so I feel safe with it. I Protect with Kyogre correctly expecting a Fake-Out while Giratina flies away and Kyogre Calm Minds. At first glance the Calm Mind on my protect seems bad, but really it just gave me an easier time taking out Ape who is all I was really worried about. Ape Grass Knots Kyogre for the ko, while Giratina Shadow Forces Infernape before taking an Ice Beam with Yache. I bring in Blissey and double Protect, being sure to stall out a possible Ape Protect to force the second Protect next turn, but he doesn't have it anyway. Giratina Shadow Sneaks Ape for the ko, but goes down to Ice Beam. So its one v one, but Blissey had my back, and his Calm Mind ogre wasn't even a threat to the pink blob, taking a +3 Ice Beam for ~20% before Kyogre was eventually toxic'd down.
Top 8 match with Wesley, and its growing audience.
I had done it, I had won a DS and 600 dollars, and was 2 wins away from two straight years with a regional win. I was paired with another worlds player, Glenn, whom I had never played before. I won't go into too much detail as the video code is just below this paragraph, but everything goes well, his lead Hitmontop goes down turn one, and at the end all thats left is Specs Kyogre locked into Blizzard and his Abomasnow against my Giratina still with Yache at full health, and Blissey in Rain. As I send in Blissey, he tells me, "my only chance left is to Freeze it" and sure enough he does, on the very first try, before I even get to Toxic Abamasnow. It's still not too bad as Kyogre goes down and I know it will take a ton of turns before Abomasnow can take down Blissey and I should thaw by then, and Giratina may take Abamasnow anyway. As he hits Giratina with the second Blizzard I jokingly tell him, "just don't Freeze this one." But no, the second freeze comes, and stays, until both Blissey and Giratina are down, throwing in a crit along the way.
Video Code: 51-76534-06235
Glenn and Len, the (semi)final showdown.
It was a dissapointing loss, but I was glad I had made it so far after doubting myself because of my failure in Dallas. I was also happy for the Arnolds and their success, and Glenn was very nice about the whole thing. You'll be seeing me in Indianapolis for sure, maybe with more Blissey? Anway, Blissey is pretty awesome right?
Uhoh, my handshake got jacked!
The final four.