VGC 2010 (Articuno64): Indianapolis LCQs

I don't want to spend an entire day writing a war story again, so this will be much shorter than my Seattle story. Also, so much awesome stuff happened this weekend that it would be impossible to give it the chronicle it deserves. Hopefully those of you who couldn't make it have a chance to look at all the pictures and get an idea of what went down, and for those of you that were there, I'm sure you'll agree that it was a very special few days. For me, it ranks right up there with the JAA NYC trip in 2006.

On to the pokemon!

My first round match was against a guy cosplaying as Team Rocket. We shook hands and the battle was underway.

He led Jynx and Smeargle. I lead Infernape and Rayquaza. I don't have any Lum or Chesto berries and I'm not sure if I can OHKO him with my priority moves, so I am very worried about getting put to sleep here. I decide to Protect with both Infernape and Rayquaza to see whether his Smeargle moves before his Jynx, hopefully alerting me to whether it has Choice Scarf. His Smeargle indeed moves first with a Dark Void, and Jynx uses... Lick.

Lick?

I immediately proceed to relax. On turn 2, my Rayquaza Extremespeeds his Smeargle and my Infernape finishes it off with Vacuum Wave. Infernape takes another Lick from Jynx for miniscule damage and thankfully no paralysis. Out comes Alakazam to replace Smeargle.

Turn 3, Rayquaza OHKOs Alakazam with Extremespeed and Infernape OHKOs Jynx with Heat Wave. At this point, my opponent says "You're very good!" I resist the urge to say "Yeah, I'm a badass" and I say "Oh, thank you!". He brings out his final pokemon, Blissey.

Turn 4, Rayquaza Dragon Claws Blissey and Infernape finishes it with Vacuum Wave. My opponent was a nice guy (like all of the VGC opponents I've had) and accepted his loss graciously. The only damage I took was from Rayquaza's Life Orb and one Lick from Jynx.

My round 2 opponent was much more of a challenge. I don't know if he is a Smogoner or not but his name was Carp. He led Garchomp and Weavile while I once again lead Infernape and Rayquaza. Weavile is a pokemon that I had worried about, given that I lead with Rayquaza. I immediately knew what I wanted to do on the first turn. Rayquaza Protected while my Infernape used Vacuum Wave on his Weavile, which held on with Focus Sash. Garchomp's Dragon Claw missed my protecting Rayquaza, and Weavile used Counter! Special attacking Infernape surprisingly pays off here.

On turn 2, I made one of the stupidest moves I could have made. I tried to have Rayquaza Dragon Claw his Garchomp. For some reason I assumed that because Weavile didn't Ice Shard me the first turn, he didn't have Ice Shard. Weavile nearly OHKOed Ray with Ice Shard and Garchomp finished it with Dragon Claw. I don't know if I was feeling too relaxed because of my first match or because turn 1 of this match had gone well, but turn 2 spelled my downfall. Infernape's Vacuum Wave finished his Weavile and we're at 3-3.

He brings out Giratina and I bring out Palkia.

Seeing Giratina now, I'm really wishing I had kept Rayquaza alive. Giratina bones my team big time. My Infernape can't do much against Garchomp and Giratina, so I switch him out for Parasect while my Palkia uses Trick Room. Palkia takes a Dragon Claw from Garchomp which uses up Haban, and his Giratina Will-O-Wisp's Palkia.

My memory of the rest of the battle is hazy, but I already felt like I had lost at this point. My Palkia didn't last long and nor did his Garchomp, so it was eventually down to my Parasect and Infernape against his Giratina and Mewtwo. Neither of my remaining pokemon could hurt Giratina badly, and the fact that it had Leftovers and Rest/Sleep Talk meant that my attempts to widdle away its health were futile. I was able to kill his Mewtwo but I lost 1-0 with his Giratina remaining.

A number of my friends also lost in round 2, so I left to join them and my other friends who had already qualified for nationals at earlier regionals. Apparently my battle was on the screen so they had watched my Parasect battling valiantly again.

In a way, it was nice to not have to worry about playing Pokemon anymore so that I could just relax and enjoy the tournament with my friends, which we did. Our group did well with a number of Ducks and Smogoners in nationals as well as the final 16. Of special note is skarm, my Canadian brethren who made top 8 and got a free trip to Hawaii. We had hoped that one of us could be a Canadian champion of an American national tournament, and he came far closer than I did.

Anyway, this weekend kicked ass, both because of the Pokemon aspects and the extracurricular activities. I'll probably be at the Seattle VGC again next year and hopefully nationals again as well (although it might be wise to take the game a little more seriously and aim for winning some travel money). And maybe I can even win one of those trophies...

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See you all next year. <3