This Sunday at the Fincastle Pokemon Gym, the 2013-14 City Championship series came to a close for us and organizers across the country. For Gym Leader Marthe, this was her first go-round at a PTO. All told, she ran 4 City Championship tournaments stretching from the metropolis of Fincastle on into the heart of western North Carolina. New this year for Masters players was the advent to entry fees as part of the Play!Pokemon organization’s restructuring of the whole tournament system. There seemed to be a slight drop-off in attendance at these events, most likely owed to the entry cost. From what we could gather, though, those not attending appeared to be the “casual” players, as competition at these events was, well, insane. For us anyway, gone were the games against the random-collection-of-Pokemon decks that we normally encounter at tournaments. Almost every game we played was against a version of one of the several “format” decks that have dominated Cities. This rise in competitive decks undoubtedly comes from the eruption of “decklist” sites over the last year that spit out decklists like babies eating Gerber’s peas and carrots.
Yesterday at the Gym, despite the bad weather, we had a solid turnout that allowed Juniors, Seniors and Masters all to play age-separated (a rarity at the Gym), but with no top cut. In the end, 2 of our 3 Gym Leaders were able to take home the trophy and the prizes. Gym Leader Georgia cruised to a final round showdown (and rematch of the finals in Harrisonburg) with Quinn T in the Junior division. Despite a horrible start which almost led to a quick victory for Quinn, Georgia mounted a comeback and finished the day undefeated and in 1st place. Quinn grabbed the 2nd place prizes and points, followed by Wesley H in 3rd place (in his 1st tournament ever!) and Nick K in 4th. Georgia’s win was a nice follow-up to her 3rd place finish on Saturday in the Fairfax City Championship, where she lost in the 1st round of top cut.
Despite having to take the hardest route through the field, Gym Leader Logan took the victory in the Senior division. By that we mean that Logan had to face the Gym’s 2 top trainers, Brycen F (round 2) and Hunter H (final round), en route to the win with an undefeated record. When the tie-breakers fell into place, Brycen grabbed 2nd place, followed by Hunter in 3rd and Owen K in 4th place. Much like Georgia’s win, Logan’s victory provided a little redemption from the large Fairfax City event, where Logan finished the swiss rounds in 1st place, but lost in the 1st round of top cut (in the 3rd game of the best 2-of-3 match) from a misplay that would have won him that match.
Gym Leader Joel was unable to hold up his end of the hat trick in the Master division. Zach M, in only his 2nd year in Masters swept the field and finished the day as the only undefeated. Alex L took home the 2nd place prizes after falling to Zach in the final round. Johnny R took 3rd place followed by Patrick T in 4th.
The entire City Championship series in our area, as in the rest of the country, has seen a nice mix of decks taking home the top prizes. In no particular order, these are the decks that had the most success through Cities.
- Virizion EX/Genesect EX/Mewtwo EX
- Darkrai EX (with and without Garbodor)
- Blastoise/Keldeo EX/Black Kyurem EX
- Thundurus EX/Deoxys EX/Lugia EX/Kyurem/Snorlax
- Landorus EX/Mewtwo EX/Garbodor
These are not the only decks that won, but these are the combinations that won the most events. Each of these decks have many different variations, which we will not go into in depth on (pick a decklist site and you’ll find all you want to know and more). For example, some variations of Blastoise focus on Keldeo EX and Suicune, while others are centered around Black Kyurem EX. Team Plasma decks, thanks to very recent articles about the “best” way to play them, seem to have shifted towards a focus on Lugia EX/Snorlax/Thundurus EX, while many players still had success with the traditional “TDK” line. With the next round of Regional Championships coming this weekend, we hope this nice mix of decks carries over, as it should make for some interesting events.
While we don’t like to throw more articles about the “best decks in the format” at you, we do like to share some ideas on fun and unusual lists that we come up with. Gym Leader Joel is working on another series of articles on fun decks from the online TCG and hopes to bring you a few of those over the next 2 weeks. Check back and take a look at some of our ideas. Until then, see you at the Gym!