2012 Nationals – Day 2

To pick up where we left off, the Fincastle Pokemon Gym team entered Saturday needing some strong play to push any of our entrants into the top cut matches.  Gym Leader Logan stood in the best position to do so.  He entered the day with a 3-1 record, with 4 rounds still to play.  As mentioned before, Logan chose his own creation for Nationals, opting to go away from what all the internet sites declared were the decks that “you absolutely had to play” to have a chance.  His deck set-up is very slow, but as it builds, it becomes a thing of beauty.  We normally don’t discuss our lists on this site, but Logan decided to share what he did.  It also will make describing this days events a little easier.

Logan played Kyurem (NV), Kyurem EX, Mewtwo EX and Shaymin (UL).  The strategy is to start a regular Kyurem, attach energies and dare your opponent to attack (for fear of an “Outrage” return attack).  As you proceed, bench the other Kyurems and an EX and attach “Exp. Share” tools to each.  Once you get energy in play, you move it around with “Energy Switch” and Shaymin to continue using the “Glaciate” attack.  When the whole field is weakened (often obtaining knockouts on support Pokemon like Smeargle, Shaymin, Eelektrik, etc., along the way), you promote either Kyurem EX or Mewtwo EX to clean up any remaining big hitters.  It is a very advanced strategy to take on and is very prone to misplays.  On the second day of the National Championships, Logan played it to near perfection, struggling to keep up with faster decks while making some amazing comebacks.  Whether or not is was the “right” play for Nationals is hard to say.  On to the results.

Logan opened with perhaps the speediest deck in the format at the moment, Darkrai EX.  Logan opened poorly while his opponent had a near perfect start.  There was little he could do to keep up and he opened with a loss, dropping to 3-2.  Logan’s next match pitted him against a Zek-Eels deck with Tornadus EX and Mewtwo EX.  With lots of high HP Pokemon in this deck, he had his work cut out for him.  Logan went right to work, setting up steadily as his opponent jumped out to a lead.  Behind by 3 prizes, Logan in three turns took 2 prizes (from an EX), then 2 off of a “Glaciate” and then wrapped it up with a knockout on the Tornadus EX for the last 2 prizes.  We’re not sure his opponent has figured out yet how he lost that one, but we’re sure he eventually got up and moved on to the next round.  Logan now stood at 4-2.

Round 7 saw Logan come face to face with a similar idea to his own (different Pokemon).  His opponent played Terrakion/Mewtwo with Aerodactyl to increase damage.  He utilized “Exp Share” much like Logan did.  This game see-sawed back and forth, as Logan fell behind early.  Trailing 3 prizes to his opponents 2, Logan knocked out an EX for 2.  He damaged the field over the next 2 turns with “Glaciate”.  Logan’s active Kyurem was knocked out, leaving only 1 prize for his opponent.  Logan used “Catcher” to grab a damaged Mewtwo and knocked it out with his own to take the last 2 prizes.  Now Logan stood at 5-2.  His resistance was off the charts, so a win in the final round would land him somewhere around 12th-14th place in the top 32.  From what we saw last year, 3 losses would probably miss the top cut of 32.

Logan faced a Mewtwo/Gardevior deck with Levanny to remove weakness.  I was away from the game for the first 15 minutes or so.  Logan recounts that he spread damage several times, but got knocked out several times while doing so.  When I returned, his opponent (Jonathan D) had 1 prize card left to Logan’s 5.  Logan stayed the course, using “Catcher” strategically, stranding Pokemon that could not attack while using “Glaciate”.  He took 1 prize, then 2, leaving 2 to take for the win.  Jonathan got a powered up Mewtwo back to the active spot and hit Kyurem for 120.  Logan again used “Catcher”, bringing up a Mewtwo with no energy and hitting it with an “Outrage” for 140, leaving nothing on the field that could withstand a hit on the next turn.  Jonathan drew a “Juniper”, played it and drew his entire remaining deck (6 cards) looking for the only DCE that Logan had not removed from play with “Lost Remover”.  He found it and attached and used “X-Ball” to take his last prize.  Logan’s nearly made the greatest comeback that I have ever seen.  The loss dropped his record to 5-3.  When the final standings were posted, Logan claimed 40th place, 8 spots out of the top cut.  He was very disappointed, but we applaud his efforts and some amazing play to take on a field of “net-deckers” with his own idea and nearly top cutting with it.

Where does this leave Logan?  We will (like last year) have to wait and watch.  Logan will pick up an additional 3 championship points for his finish.  Depending on what happens to those directly in front and behind him in the rankings, he may move up or he could potentially fall out of the top 40.  Tomorrow’s top 16 will surely impact his final standing.  If those already ahead of Logan win out, then he should be safe.  Cross your fingers!

Leaving the play area and heading to the hotel, we just happened to pass the late registration line for the Video Game Championship (which we wrongfully assumed we would miss while playing cards).  Logan jumped in line and set his battle box and made the field at the last minute.  Logan battled through some close matches (7 rounds with a top cut of 16…. we did not get an attendance #).  Logan stood at 3-2 after 5 rounds with a chance, if he won out.  However, he lost Round 6 and won Round 7.  He ended the afternoon at 4-3 and in 44th place in the VGC.  2 close call events for 1 day is enough for anyone.  We were able to record his last round victory and will post it at the bottom for those interested in seeing it.

Georgia and Gym Leader Joel opened Saturday with consecutive losses, eliminating them both from contention.  Georgia played out the day but finished 2-6, losing 2 games in extra turns.  Joel’s opening (and most crucial) game on Saturday was against the best deck/opponent (Andrew) that he faced all weekend….. how the heck was this guy 2-3 entering Saturday?  The level of play at these events in all age groups is amazing, but it is crazy in the Masters.  Out of contention, Joel dropped to watch the final rounds of Juniors.

We do not want to turn our site into a deck list site and offer our 2 cents on the meta-game.  We tend to drift more towards “rogue” ideas, as each idea fits our individuality.  However, we will post our lists towards the end of next week and share a little about our thought process entering this event.  We had a great time and want to share as much from this experience as we can with you.  Speaking of that, here is Logan’s battle video.  Enjoy and check back tomorrow from a quick wrap up.  See you soon!

****Little trouble getting video uploaded… we will try again in the AM….. sorry!



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