VGC 2010 (TTS): Nationals Warstory
So after resting up after getting home, I'm gonna take a stab at writing a warstory. This'll cover the Pokemon part of the weekend, as well as the social part of the weekend. This was easily the best weekend of my life, and I look forward to it becoming a yearly thing. I don't remember 100% of my battles, and was asked by Liesik not to take notes(-_-) so I'm going off of memory for some of them.
This story starts last Thursday, June 24th, 2010. I got to the airport around 11AM, plane took off at 12:45, and landed at 2:30. I hung around the Indianapolis airport for about an hour, meeting Rory at around 3:10 and Articuno 64 at 3:30. We went outside, called chaos, and eventually he picked us up. Notably, a pair of his (hopefully clean) boxers were sitting on the front passenger seat of his car. There's a funny story of the conversation that took place when Articuno64 asked about the boxers, but that's something you had to be there for -- unless you are BlueCookies' dad, who overheard it while I was retelling it to Huy, Duy, Dtrain, Andrea, and Dubulous. Awkward silence and laughing resulted from that little mishap >_>
Anyways, chaos took us to the Courtyard Marriott, which despite being the cheaper of the two hotels used by most of us, was actually nicer. At the Courtyard Marriott we dropped our luggage off and then met up with Ian Garvey(EeveeTrainer) and Kevin(Judd's friend). Judd hadn't yet arrived, and wouldn't until the following day. Rory and chaos played a 6v6 battle on Pokemon Stadium, although it was a bit one sided since one team was flawless IVs/max stat XP and one wasn't. After that we went downstairs and ate at the TGI Friday's next door at approximately 5:30-6PM. The food there was surprisingly good.
While we were at Friday's, OmegaDonut texted me telling me that he had arrived, and that Skarm(Mike Papagianis)'s flight had been delayed by 3 hours. OmegaDonut decided to wait there for Skarm to arrive, but Skarm wasn't aware of that. Somehow Skarm, Huy, Duy, and everyone else who arrived that night missed OmegaDonut, so he ended up waiting there until Fish(The last? arrival of the night by air) got there, and grabbed a cab to the hotel with him, since he had waited there too long and the buses were no longer running.
Skarm, Huy, Duy, Andrea, Dubulous, Dtrain, BlueCookies, and a few other people ended up arriving by around 8:30-9, and they were hungry. So we ended up going out to Friday's again. While there Synre(Scott), Evan, Mingot(Bill), and his daughter Mally ended up arriving and joining us. We ended up sitting at Friday's eating and talking until probably 11:30, at which point we all went back to our respective hotels. A little while later Mingot offered to buy Skarm a drink, so the three of us went down to the bar at TGI Friday's(the third time in 12 hours, for those keeping track), and we were eventually joined by chaos, Scott, and Evan. Probably half an hour after we got to the bar(1AMish) Fishy showed up as well. By 1:30ish we left the bar, AGAIN went back to our hotel rooms, and eventually went to sleep. Notable events at 1:30AM Thursday night/Friday morning include chaos telling everyone not staying with him to get out of his room(RORY GET YOUR FUCKING SHOES ON AND GET OUT) and Skarm and I staying up until 3:30AM playing Battle Hall Multi-Battle and filling out our team sheets.
We woke up at 5:30~ on Friday morning(2 hours of sleep), got ready, and headed down to the convention center to get in line for the LCQ. Several members of our group didn't have an invite to nationals yet, so getting there early was important to guarantee a spot in line in the event that the LCQ hit full capacity. The LCQ barely hit half capacity in the end, but it was still a good idea to be safe. While waiting around in line we finally met up with Fish and OmegaDonut, who had gotten in late last night and never met up with us. We also ran into Chalkey, Ryuzaki, Deagle, Metabou, and some other people who I can't clearly remember.
We said hi to Nick McCord and Marriland. We introduced chaos to McCord, and eventually McCord brought out the Ducks shirt he had been given in Seattle and gave it to chaos since his never arrived. McCord went in the back and grabbed a silver sharpie and then drew a crown above the ducks logo, since chaos is the King of the Internet.
The LCQ came and went—Skarm, OmegaDonut, and Andrea(Godudette) were the only three of our group that entered the LCQ who actually got an invite.
After the LCQ those of us who were staying at the "winner's" hotel went and checked in. While doing so we came across this giant Indiana Democratic Convention gathering, and noticed a man with a pin that said "GO FISH - DISTRICT 21". We became staunch Fish supporters immediately, and made people aware of that whenever we saw someone with a pin for another democratic candidate. We hung out in Duy's room(iirc) and eventually had about 15 of us there. TAY and Judd arrived at some point on Friday afternoon while we were hanging around after the LCQ. We sat chatting for a while, and eventually we went for lunch at a place down the street from the convention center called Steak and Shake. They don't have them on the East coast, and I was boggled by the fact that the place had steak in the name and didn't actually sell real steaks :[ The food was good, I guess—I got onion rings, most of the other people got steakburgers. The waiter there failed hard at keeping track of the receipts. He double-billed a few items and failed to give some of us our receipts until after we asked. Afterwards we went back to the hotels and hung around for a while.
DM and TAD38 arrived around 7PM. Most of us eventually went down to a bar called Scotty's Brewhouse where DM led half~ of the group in drinking from about 8PM until the bar closed at around 1AM. Probably half of the group drank, while half didn't either because they weren't old enough or just didn't want to. Once the bar closed we wandered back to our respective hotels and crashed shortly after.
We(me, Skarm, and TAY) woke up around 6:30, and one by one got ready for day 1 of Nationals, aka the swiss round. There ended up being 65 players, and 7 rounds of play. My memory is a little rusty but I'll recap what I can remember:
I was running my sorta well known team, which was Infernape/Palkia/Giratina/Metagross. I used this team, with Ape/Palk leading, for all of the swiss portion of Nats.
I believe was versus a guy whose in-game name was Soul. The battle video # is 68-64119-38424.
I led with Ape and Palkia, he led with Ludicolo and Kyogre.
Turn 1: I fake out his Kyogre, he grass knots my Palkia for 55~% damage, Kyogre flinches, and I draco meteor his Ludicolo for 95%~ damage.
Turn 2: He grass knots palkia for 44~% damage, leaving it with 1-2HP. Kyogre water spouts, kills Palkia, and brings ape to 1HP(sash). Ape close combats Kyogre for 80~%.
Turn 3: I send out Giratina to replace Palkia. I protect with Infernape, shadow sneak his Ludicolo to death, and get hit by his 20%~ kyogre's water spout for about 5-8% damage on Giratina.
Turn 4: I withdraw Infernape for Metagross. Kyogre spouts again, and Mewtwo uses grass knot on Giratina for minimal damage. Giratina uses shadow force and disappears.
Turn 5: Kyogre spouts again, Mewtwo flamethrowers Metagross but it is weakened due to rain. Giratina's shadow force OHKOs Mewtwo, and Metagross meteor mashes Kyogre to death.
Turn 6+: Abomasnow comes out alone versus my Meta, Gira, and Ape. It barely survives the first turn, and dies after protecting.
I win 3-0
I can't fully remember battle 2, although it was by far the haxiest match I had all weekend. It started off Palkia/Ape versus Palkia/Azelf. I was perplexed by his leads, since they don't really synergize with each other that well.
Turn 1: I decide that Palkia is the biggest threat, and decide to try to take it out turn 1. I select draco meteor and CC, both aimed at the enemy Palkia. Azelf leads with zen headbutt and flinches my ape. Meteor hits, but doesn't kill the enemy Palkia, who rends my own Palkia. My memory is fuzzy, but I think the rend was a crit and thus OHKOed my Palkia.
We ended up trading crits back and forth -- the match had something like 9 of them overall. Ultimately though, things kept going downhill for me after that turn 1 flinch, and I barely lost after several crits against me. I had crits against him too, but I guess his crits were more useful since he won and all.
I lose 2?-0
My round 3 battle was versus a guy who truly wasn't very good. All I really remember was his Lugia, which had leftovers, repeatedly hydro pumping my Giratina. I beat this guy HARD.
I win 3-0 or 4-0
My round 4 battle I don't remember very well either. I'm pretty sure it had a Kyogre/Togekiss lead, and a scarf Smeargle in the back that came out after I killed Togekiss. I won, although I can't remember with what score.
I win ?-0
My round 5 battle was versus Jayque, who posted a warstory a few days ago. He led Dusknoir/Kyogre, and had Snorlax/Lapras in the back. This is the one battle I lost all weekend that I truly felt I was outplayed in. Kudos to Jayque for that. My leads are at a huge disadvantage versus his, since my Infernape couldn't really touch Dusknoir, and Kyogre was likely to protect turn 1 while TR was set up. That's pretty much what happened, too. I believe I switched Infernape out for Giratina, meteored his Dusknoir, and his Kyogre protected. I think meteor missed, and next turn I meteored his Kyogre for about 25-30% damage. I mentioned that his Kyogre must be incredibly bulky, which he confirmed. I ended up exploding with Metagross at some point and taking out both his Snorlax and Lapras, but I was left with a 50~% Palkia + infernape to take down his Dusknoir and Kyogre. He may not have realized it at the time, but Infernape had no way to kill Dusknoir. It was an oversight on my part, really. He ended up pain splitting my Infernape to break its sash, and water spouted or muddy watered with Kyogre, taking out Infernape and hitting Palkia. It ended up with 30~% Palkia vs Dusknoir and bulky Kyogre, and I lost. It was a close one, but I lost due to the fact his team his team had advantages over mine from the start and he capitalized on them.
I lose 2-0
My round 6 battle was against Trent, also known by some people as "Shuckle Guy", the guy who beat BlueCookies in the top 16 of the NJ regional. He led with Smeargle, and had a trick room Dialga in the back. Beyond that I truly don't remember. I won in the end, though.
I win ?-0
My round 7 battle was against Aaron Zheng, aka Serendipity/Cybertron. He placed 4th in NJ, and we had met prior to Nationals.
He led a modified Misa Room team, and despite getting trick room off thanks to Follow Me Smeargle I managed to shut him down pretty hard. We were both 4-2 prior to this match, so the winner was guaranteed a spot while the loser wasn't. I won, got the invite, and Aaron ended up placing 17th out of 65. Unfortunately, there were only 16 spots for the finals on Sunday :[
I win ?-0
Rank: 13 out of 64
Six of the ducks made top 16—myself, Skarm, Judd, Rory, Huy, and Duy. BlueCookies(Ray) and Alaka(Len) made top 16 as well, although we didn't hang out too much until after Saturday's swiss rounds.
After Saturday's qualifying round, most of us went and got pizza from a place in the convention center that was, surprisingly enough, named Pizza. That food was absolutely terrible, I spent $8 on mine, took one bite, and promptly threw out the entire plate. The soda machine was out of syrup too, so my "sprite" was just carbonated water.
Afterwards, most of us went to a sports bar in the "winner's" hotel called Champion's, where we watched part of the US vs Ghana soccer game. We had like 5 or 6 laptops there, and were probably the geekiest group that had ever entered the bar. We sat on IRC for a while talking to people and laughing at ET trolling DukeTheDevil. We wandered around a bit, eventually went to the food court in the Circle Center mall a few blocks from the convention center and ate. We later went back to the convention center and watched some people play TCG, in addition to getting some freebies from the side events area. Aaron won a hat and gave it to me since I had said earlier that I wanted one—I guess he didn't really want it since he's got his Worlds 08 hat. We sat around talking about top 16 and strategizing. We went to bed at a reasonable time this night, unlike prior nights.
Skarm, TAY and myself woke up around 6:30 and got to the convention center around 7:30.
My first opponent was the only girl in the top 16, Brianna. She had earned the nickname "Absol Girl", since she was spotted using an Absol. Sunday's top 16 was single elimination, and best of 3.
I lead Palkia + Infernape, Brianna leads Absol + Infernape.
Turn 1: She fake outs my Palkia, I lose the speed tie and then fake out her Infernape. Absol sucker punches Palkia, it hits(since I had attacked), and Palkia then flinches.
Turn 2: My memory gets a bit fuzzy here, but I think it went like this: Absol sucker punches Palkia but fails since I had used substitute. Her Infernape crit CCed my Palkia for the kill when it wouldn't have otherwise, and my Infernape I believe CCed her Infernape down to 1HP.
Turn 3: I send out Giratina, shadow sneak her Infernape as it switches to Dialga, and I believe I switched Infernape out for Metagross.
From this point on my memory gets even more fuzzy -- I end up taking out her Absol, I think with meteor mash.. the match eventually comes down to her 20% slow Kyogre versus my 1hp Infernape and 35%~ Metagross. I had the match won, until her Kyogre's item revealed itself. Quick Claw activates, she muddy waters, and takes out both of my remaining pokemon. FUUUCKKK.
I lose 1-0
We both kept the same leads as the last round. She commented that she expected me to switch my leads. I felt that my original leads handled her adequately, and that if it wasn't broken I shouldn't try to fix it.
This match went more in my favor.
Turn 1: I double protect, she fake outs and sucker punches.
Turn 2: I draco meteor her Absol for a OHKO, and encore her Infernape's fake out.
From this point on, again, my memory gets a bit fuzzy. She left her Infernape in for 4 or 5 turns failing fake out over and over, and I systematically took out her other pokemon one at a time.
I win 2-0 or 3-0?
We use the same leads AGAIN.
I truly can't remember the start of this clearly, but I'm pretty sure this is what happened:
Turn 1: Her Infernape fake outs mine, my Palkia uses substitute, and she either sucker punches or swords dances with Absol—it was irrelevant ultimately.
Turn 2: I draco meteor her absol to death after it sucker punches my sub down, and I think I switched out to Giratina which was immune to either a CC or mach punch from her Infernape.
And yet again, my memory starts to get a bit fuzzy. She sends out Kyogre to replace Absol. I'm pretty sure I protected my Gira on turn 3 and switched Palkia for Metagross. In the end it came down to my 100% Metagross and 1HP Infernape vs her 20%~ Kyogre and full HP Dialga. I ended up misplaying a bit here since I wasn't 100% sure on Quick Claw's mechanics at the time, and ended up protecting my Infernape and bullet punching her Kyogre hoping for a kill. I was incredibly paranoid about another Quick Claw proc, and it ended up costing me. She earth powers my Metagross for 80~% and then muddy waters for the kill. At that point I CC her dialga to near-death and then die to dragon pulse. In hindsight I'd have fake outed her Kyogre to kill it(I wasn't sure if QC brought you to first in your priority or just moved ahead of all +1 priority moves) and hammer armed her Dialga. Unfortunately, I wasn't certain on QC's mechanics and ended up letting my paranoia get the best of me. I could've won game 3 but choked, although in all fairness it should've never made it to game 3 =[
I lose 2-0
1-2 record, Brianna advances
We hung around, watched the rest of the tournament. Huy and Skarm made it to top 8, BlueCookies and Judd lost with me in top 16, and Len(Alaka) got 2nd. Afterwards we went and hung out for the rest of the day. We went down to the food court at the mall again, I then went and saw Skarm, Judd, Kevin, and Ian off since they all departed that night. Of course the weather ended up delaying them for a few hours, and Ian ended up coming back and leaving the next morning, but that was the last I saw of Skarm, Judd, and Kevin. I ended up hanging with Huy, Duy, Andrea, Dubulous, Dtrain, and BlueCookies for the rest of the night. We watched some old episodes of Pokemon and made snide commentary, looked at pictures we had taken, and had a few laughs while recalling some events that had happened over the weekend. We went to bed at around 12:30, although I ended up staying up in my room until about 1:30 talking on IRC.
I got up around 7AM on Monday and went down to the lobby to say goodbye to Huy, Duy, Andrea, Dubulous and Dtrain. They all left in Dubulous' car—Dubs and Andrea were driving home, and dropped off the others at the airport on the way. I hung around the hotel for another hour or so, and then headed off to the airport. My flight didn't leave until 1, so I spent the 3-4 hours prior to my flight chatting on IRC and Facebook. I got home at around 3:30PM, talked to my mother for a while, and crashed on my bed from about 6PM until 12:30AM. I woke up and chatted on IRC until about 4:45AM, and then went back to sleep and didn't wake up until noon.
Overall this was the best weekend of my life. I truly think I could've potentially won the Nationals if not for hax, but Pokemon is a game that is heavily reliant on luck. I went into it knowing I may not win, though -- just the social aspect of this weekend is what made it the best weekend of my life, though. Even though I didn't win the trip, I'm going to try to come up with the money to go to Worlds in August and kick some more ass.
There was way too many pictures to show here. They can be found here.