VGC 2010 Dallas (Lumberjack Smash)
I didn't plan on writing about my VGC experience because, well, I thought there would be nothing worth writing about. I didn't expect to go far. (I would have been super happy winning just the first round.) My team was gimmicky and rushed, as you will read. Nonetheless, I found myself winning a few more battles than anticipated, so I'm going to come out of lurking and tell you my story.
I arrived at the Convention Center around 11:30, having rode in a car for the past three hours. I came with two other participants, my friends Ryan and James. Ryan had a planned out team that consisted of trying to flinch the enemy to death. He assumed he would be out by the first round... he made it to the second. James, on the other hand, has no grasp on EVs, IVs, or competitive battling altogether, but came just to have fun and hang out. Yeah, he lost the first round. :P
Also from our home town came another small group. They had saved us a spot in line (I think they had spent the night before in Dallas) Those dudes were all serious players and half of them ended up getting into the finals. One of them, who you know as JGiles, went on to win the whole thing.
Anyway, before long, the line began to move, and I was registered as number 212 Afterword, I was squared off with my first oppo-Oh yeah, I should post my team first, shouldn't I?
Not a very common lead combination for sure. Hariyama is well known enough, but how about Hypno? I hoped that nobody I faced had any idea what the guy could do, and that is exactly what happened. Yeah, the plan is to Trick Room, but I picked him also because of Insomnia, which meant I didn't need to put a Lum or Chesto on him in case someone tried to put him asleep. After putting a Focus Sash on him, I knew he could survive at least one hit. If I saw the opponent lead with two hard hitters, Hariyama would Fake Out whichever was the bigger threat, and Hypno could safely Trick Room. I'm sure if you led with something like Giratina and Gengar then my plan would fall apart, but I never went against a lead that stopped me altogether. If I saw someone start with a Fake Out user of their own, I would have used Fake Out on the other lead in case Hypno would flinch, prolonging the set up, but still giving me hope to pull a TR off. It's also worth noting that Hypno has a impressive 115 base Special Defense (and a 85 in HP), which meant he could take some of the hardest hits out there. Light Screen was usually used on the second turn, which increased his lifespan even more.
Hariyama was picked because he would use Fake Out, had a lot of HP, his very nice 120 Attack Stat, and most of all, Guts. A Close Combat after Flame Orb has set in can beat the piss out of a lot of things, as I've come to learn after practicing online. His low speed also meant he probably was going to hit first unless someone with priority was out. After a Trick Room, I let Slapchop run through whatever he can while Hypno used Light Screen, and then either retreated or tried to Toxic/Sleep some pokes.
Groudon was usually the first of the ubers to come out and battle. A heavy hitter, plain and simple, who had some decent type coverage. He did what Slapchop couldn't, like punish Ghosts and Psychics. I also picked him so I could have some control over the weather.
Dialga was probably the most rushed of the group, and in retrospect I would have changed some things about him, like replace Flash Cannon with Aura Sphere or Flamethrower. The Chople Berry never went off or was needed, either. Nonetheless he resisted a lot and proved to be a staple backup. Also note his nature, which is Serious. This Dialga was caught in in my first Diamond playthrough, and the only one on hand when I decided that I was going to use one.
NOTE: Btw, if you fought a [VGC]Axe on Pokemon Online, that was me. :) There I tested with a Dusknoir instead of a Hypno, though.
Okay, anyway, onto the matches. I don't know most of the names, but if I fought you, speak up so I can give you credit.
Round 1: Lumberjack vs. [some kid]
So my VGC experiences starts against a boy who I'm sure barely made the age cutoff. I forget what he led with, maybe a Tyranitar. The point is, after Trick Room got set up, Slapchop went to town on his team, and the match was fairly one-sided. I'm not proud of this victory, but I'm glad I wasn't eliminated right away. I hoped I would get a challenging opponent in the next round.
Round 2: Lumberjack vs. Grant
My wish came true full force. This guy was very good and gave me a LOT of trouble. He started with a Mewtwo and a Garchomp, I FO'd the Mewtwo, and Garchomp Dragon Clawed Hypno into the yellow. TR got set up. They both protected next turn, and afterwords he switched Mewtwo for Zapdos. Bad move, as I decided to use Rock Slide. Zapdos went in the red, and Garchomp avoided it. Hypno missed with his Hynnosis, and Garchomp used EQ to take out Hypno and put Slapchop in the red. I toss out Groudon, and next turn they both protect. Slapchop is in the red, and will die after one more turn from the burn, so I decide to save him, hoping he can Fake Out later and take out something important. I throw down Dialga while he sends out Kyogre, who gets half of his health taken out with a Dragon Claw. Groudon protects from an Ice Beam and Dialga kills Zapdos. By this point TR and Light Screen were gone and I was worried I was going to lose. His Garchomp is sent back out, but I Groudon protects and Dialga finishes it. Dialga is now in the yellow, Groudon full health. I forget exactly what happens, but I get Mewtwo killed and Kyogre in the red, but Groudon ends up dieing and Dialga is also in the red. Slapchop comes back out, who is also at a sliver of a health. Saving him for later turns out to be my winning move, as I use Fake Out to defeat Kyogre and deny him from using Surf/Water Spout on my two very weak guys. Whew, that was very close!
Round 3: Lumberjack vs. [some kid]
This was also a kid who looked around 13ish, but he seemed to have EV trained his pokemon and had some sort of plan. He began with Cresselia and Groudon. I fake out The Groudon, Hypno uses TR and Cresselia uses Helping Hand. I forget a lot of the battle, but I figure out the kid is persistent in using Helping Hand, so I leave Cresselia alone and take out his Groudon and Mewtwo. Cresselia changes gears and attacks while he sends out Blissey. Blissey proves to be very annoying and takes a lot of hits while it uses Toxic on most of my guys, and hides behind a Sub. It also took advantage of my Trick Room and was the fastest one on the field. I knock out Cress, but lose Groudon and Hypno, but Slapchop and Dialga worked together to eventually defeat him. It was a very long game, but I came out on top.
I was stunned. I made it all the way to the last room. One more round and I would be in the finals. Marriland saw how dumbfounded yet excited I was I got this far and congratulated me. He's a really cool and friendly guy. Anyone know exactly how many PokéWalkers he was wearing on that hat? :P
I sit down and face my fourth opponent. We shook hands, I turned on my game and joined the room he set up. When I saw his name as the host of the game, I recognized it asked him if he was who I thought he was. And to my horror I was right.
Round 4: Lumberjack vs obi
Yeah, I was fighting obi. My luck had run out and I was in for a massive beating. I laughed and told him that, and he asked me who I was on Smogon. I told him I was just a lurker, that I was a nobody. He grinned and said "You gotta be somebody, I mean you did make it this far." Dude, you had no idea how much that lifted my spirits. :)
I don't know if he is going to use that team again, so I won't comment on exactly what I fought or their moves. He had no idea what I was going to do with the Hypno, so I pulled off Trick Room with no interference, and a Slapchop hit his guys harder than he thought to the point where he accidentally KO'd not one, but two of his own guys in two separate attacks. Light Screen helped me a whole lot; he mentioned that he had forgot about it. In the end, I found out that my luck hadn't run out (at least yet), and the game ended 2-0, in my favor.
Obi, if you're reading this I'm so sorry to knock you out. I feel like I did something wrong lol. Awesome match though.
I had done it. I made it to the Finalists Lounge! I didn't chill there long after I got my cartridge hack checked and taken away, as I ran off to find where my friends were. I came back and sat down quietly twenty minutes 'til four, which was when he had to be back. If anybody saw me, I was the guy with the long brown hair wearing the grey shirt and jeans sporting the mustache and goatee.
After pictures were taken we learned there were 37 finalists, so cards had to be drawn to determine who got a bye. I drew a Grass card, so that meant I had to battle extra. Oh well, I was still pumped to be the top 37. But how much further could I go?
Round 5: Lumberjack vs ???
I wish I remembered this match, as it was another close one. I got Trick Room up, and Slapchop went to work. It was back and forth, but I ended up winning... somehow. Seriously, I forget this match completely. I hope the guy is a user here so he can jog my memory. Sorry for the lack of details. :/
Round 6: Lumberjack vs ???
I'll make it up with this one, though. He led with Azelf and Gengar. Fearing a double Explosion, I Fake Out Azelf to minimize my casualties, but Gengar didn't go boom. Something Exploded later on, which seriously set me back, and things went slowly downhill for me. He also had a Shedinja and Giratina. The Sheddy had to be hit twice due to the sash to kill him, and Giratina tore a large hole through my team. In the end it was Dialga vs Giratina and I think Azelf (Trick Room had ended), and I would have taken one of them out if it wasn't for the fact that something critically hit me, and I lost, 0-2. :/
Oh, well, I wasn't upset. I had a really good and long run, making it into the top 32. Out of around 600 participants, too! Congrats on the guys who made it further than me. I'm glad I went to the VGC, and will definitely be going to another one next year.
See you all next year!