VGC 2010 (skarm): Nationals and Top 16 Warstory
I am probably going to leave most of the travel parts of this out except for the amusing parts since everyone else is really covering it and I have 3 days of Pokemon to cover as it is. So, without further ado:
I was flying in Thursday since I had to play in LCQ as I wasn't a bad enough dude to qualify in Seattle (thanks Chris Tsai!). Anyway, I was caught in a terrible delay in Minneapolis and whilst waiting I got a call from 2009 NATIONAL CHAMPION MIKE SULESKI. He asked if I was at the airport in Indy, but I told him 3 hours.
So when I arrived in Indy I assumed he went downtown and I just took a cab where I was accosted by TTS when I arrived at the hotel. Well, and I met Arti, chaos, Evan, and I forget whoever else was there at the time.
For dinner we settled upon TGI Fridays... which apparently the rest of the group had already been to previously in the afternoon, but whatever. We were the Ha party - which the hostess was laughing at until I told her it was actually someone's last name. We had just finished ordered when mingot and his daughter Mally (LightYin!) arrived, ordered after everyone else, and then got their food promptly 10 minutes prior to the rest of us. I think in total our group was myself, the Ha brothers, mingot, Mally, Arti, rory, chaos, TTS, dtrain, BlueCookies, Andrea, and probably a few more I'm forgetting. I know Synre came in later and we were all like "who the fuck is that" and then we learned it was Tofu because Synre is very difficult to say and understand in person!
Anyway being smart we decided getting the least amount of sleep was a good idea so TTS and I stayed up until like 330 Am playing Battle Factory.
Nationals – Swiss
There were 65 competitors and we were informed there would be 7 rounds of Swiss.
Round #1 - Erik Wong (Qualified Seattle Top 16)
Erik lead with Kangaskhan and... Palkia? I am not entirely sure what happened with this battle, but I know that I ended up winning 3-0.
I later found out that DukeTheDevil on IRC had picked Erik to win the entire tournament and thus I had crushed his dreams by reporting my R1 victory.
Round #2 - Ryan Young (Qualified San Mateo ???)
Ryan was easily my most talkative and friendly opponent. Unfortunately I cannot for the life of me remember anything about this match at all. I know that I won, but other than that my memory fails. I know this was one of my toughest matches all day so kudos to Ryan!
Round #3 - Trent Boyer (Qualified Newark Top 8, defeated BlueCookies with Shuckle)
It never dawned on my until later that this was the Shuckle user from Newark, but the first comment he made was about "everyone" using Shiny Infernape/Palkia leads. This is likely because TTS defeated him with such at Newark in Top 8. Apparently, he didn't learn his lesson.
He lead with I think Dialga + Smeargle and double protected. I Encored his Smeargle and then proceeded to beat the crap out of his Pokemon for a 4-0 win. At the end of this match Trent lamented that Encore lasted too long and was visably hacked off.
At this point we were all asking each other what our records were etc. and we had a lot of 3-0 and 2-1 players. Likely we'd start facing each other soon unless you're rory and had been scalping Ducks all day long. Traitor. Naturally...
Round #4 - Omari Travis ("BadIntent")
I found out later that BadIntent had no idea who I was even though I had briefly met him at Seattle's Regional and had been attempting to start conversation with him in Indy! Eventually he realized who I was later and then was a lot more friendly. Haha, anyway...
We both lead Infernape/Palkia and played a mirror match game for a while. I think Turn 2 I outpredicted him and was about to land a Spacial Rend on his Palkia... which missed. Bleh. Dragon Pulse for Worlds imo.
It eventually game down to my Giratina and Metagross vs. his Blissey, Groudon, and... Palkia? In reserve. His Groudon was about 1/3 HP and I needed my Shadow Force to KO it. It didn't, and then he landed a CH Shadow Claw on my Giratina bringing it to near death. Then my Hammer Arm landed on Blissey for about 90%... and BI cheered. Because Blissey used Counter. :(
Anyway, I lost 3-0.
Round #5 - Ryan Schambers ("DeagleBeagle")
Deagle was probably one of the few people I wanted to play this tournament since he had been practicing for long hours for months prior. Naturally I got paired with him.
He lead Mewtwo/Abomasnow and I lead my Infernape/Palkia. After my Fake Out failed because Mewtwo Protected I started to get my ass kicked. It came down to his back two... Scarf Dialga and Toxicroak vs. my Giratina and Metagross. I ended up losing I think 0-2.
I felt as if my good start was all for naught at this point. I was hoping for a better pairing for Round 6 because I needed two more wins to be secured in Top 16. Although, my loss to BadIntent helped since he would eventually go 7-0. Strength of Schedule++.
dtrain quipped "I bet we play". Thanks. We did play. Sigh.
Round #6: Daniel Levinson ("dtrain")
Dan lead TopOgre and I lead my typical leads of Nape/Palk. After getting me on the ropes I had only Giratina and Metagross left. At some point I know his Hitmontop had survived something at 1 HP.
Anyway, despite being incredibly obvious, I had to explode Metagross the first turn it came out since otherwise I knew I would have lost. I exploded on his Palkia and Abomasnow, catching both of them because dtrain figured it was too obvious for me to do it. My Giratina Shadow Forced his 40% Kyogre for the KO the next turn. Yay :D
A lot of us Ducks were 4-2. This didn't bode well. Of course I match up against the Duck Slayer himself...
Round #7: Rory
FUCKING RORY. Anyway I knew his items so this would be an easy battle. It actually wasn't but whatever. He lead TopOgre and got the upperhand quickly, although I eventually won based on a minimum damage roll on the last turn of the match. I got to yell WHATS THE MATTER TRAINER? so it was all good nonetheless.
I qualified as the 10th seed. This put me up against Deagle's brother, Alan ("Metabou") tomorrow morning where the winner would get a paid trip to Worlds in Hawaii. Obviously a lot was on the line.
Vs. Alan Schambers ("Metabou"), the #7 Seed.
I decided to mix something up this time using my roster, which was Kyogre and Hitmontop, to catch Alan off guard. I had no idea what Alan was using since, but I had seen him play in LCQ (not getting a bye). I didn't know if it was the same team or not.
I lead Hitmontop and Infernape against his Toxicroak and Palkia. This is definitely not what I saw him use in LCQ so the stage was set for an interesting match. I used Fake Out on both Toxicroak and Palkia. Then, I Close Combatted his Palkia with Infernape and used Aerial Ace on his Toxicroak which my Top was faster than. This leads me to believe it was more of a TR set up. I ohkoed Croak, and had done significant to Palkia. I ended up winning this match although the end I cannot remember.
Match: 1-0 in my favor currently
I chose Infernape, Palkia, Kyogre, and Hitmontop for this battle. Alan chose his regular - Infernape, Specs Palkia, Kyogre, and Abomasnow.
I know on Turn 2 I tried to get a lucky speed tie and Encore Infernape's Fake Out, but I didn't, and got sufficiently thrashed.
Match: 1-1 all
It all came down to this. After deliberation I decided to remove Scarf from Kyogre and give it to Palkia so I could, hopefully, outspeed Alan's Specs Palkia. This battle I have saved on Vs. Recorder so I know it well.
Turn 1 we trade Fake Outs on Palkias I and I pray he doesn't realize mine flinched first... or if he did that it was only a speed tie.
Turn 2 I get the Spacial Rend first and OHKO his Palkia while our Infernapes trade Close Combats on each other. He sends out Abomasnow
Turn 3 I swap Palkia for Metagross to take what I assume will be Blizzard, but watch my Infernape get KO'd by an Ice Shard. His Infernape then criticals my Metagross with Close Combat leaving it about 25% HP. Metabou's Infernape dies to hail and he switches in Kyogre while I bring in my Yache Giratina.
Turn 4 Custap activates on Metagross and I explode KOing both Kyogre and Abomasnow for the victory, and my paid trip to Hawaii. :)
Great games, Metabou!
GAME 3 BATTLE RECORDER VID #43-13911-19039
I then lost to Alaka but he can write those up since they were his good luck. All in all it was an awesome weekend and I'm excited to be representing both Canada and North America at Worlds this August.
It was a great weekend! Thanks to everyone who made it enjoyable. Special thanks to Andrea and Ditto, two non-retarded Wifiers ;), for the wonderful Pokemon they gave me to compete. Your stuff rocked. :D