The Expanded Format does not rank very high on Gym Leader Joel’s list of favorites. The ever increasing card base in Expanded seems to lead to contests of who can make their opponent accomplish the least, rather than who can out-hit who. For that matter, Gym Leaders Logan and Georgia are not crazy about it either, but for some reason it seems to suit them. Logan and Georgia traveled to the Florida Regional to give it another go and both players had great weekends. The only drawback of the weekend was that Georgia’s success on Saturday prevented her from entering the VG field on Sunday, which again was a problem of excess, which are problems we can live with. However, her VG team was much stronger than the one she made top 8 with at Virginia, so we were disappointed that she did not get a shot at the field.
Gym Leader Georgia opened with a 2-1 record going into the lunch break on Saturday, which was not bad, but left her in series of “must-win” matches in the afternoon. Georgia responded in excellent fashion, rolling out a series of wins and earning her way into the top 8 as the 5th seed. The top 8 crew was sent home to return at 9am on Sunday to play it out. We know that these decisions are usually best for the Juniors and their parents, but we hated to see Georgia have to stop playing, as she was on a roll.
Georgia returned on Sunday to pair up with a Latias EX/Altaria “donk” deck, which was obviously not a match-up she was familiar with. The deck did exactly what its goal was in their 1st game, as her opponent “donked” her lone Trubbish before she ever played a card. Georgia returned the favor in game 2 by setting up quickly dismantling him in a slightly longer but equaling lop-sided battle. Game 3 finally allowed them to battle it out with the strength of their decks. They battled to 1 prize card a piece, where Georgia said she had pending KO’s on everything on his field on the next turn. Her opponent top decked a “VS Seeker” which he used to “Lysandre” up a Trubbish and take the game and the match. From all accounts, it sounded like the type of match you should expect to see in a Regional top cut. Unfortunately for Georgia, it started and ended with KO’s on the same little bag o’ trash. Despite the loss, the 6th place finish was the end to another strong TCG event for the Gym Leader. By the time it was done, the VG event was already underway, so she missed a chance to unleash her team on the Florida field.
Logan entered the event with what started out as the same list as Georgia. After play testing it twice, he made a 3 card change to the list and then headed to another Regional with another deck that was basically a deck that he and Gym Leader Joel worked out in car rides to and from school and robotics meetings. Logan opened the event with a very “slow start”, collecting a loss and then a tie in his 1st 2 rounds, as he worked out how to play the deck under fire. Logan responded with a series of dominating wins as he played his way back to the top tables. The last round found Logan in what was an almost identical scenario to the one he experienced in Philly. A win would place him in the top 8 (likely as the 4/5 seed). An ID or tie would keep both him and his opponent (Jon E) well within the top 16 for points, but out of the top 8. Logan needed the points, but as in Philly went for the win. They split the 1st 2 games, which were both close and, according to Logan, were games that Logan felt he should’ve had, as he felt he made a major misplay in the opening game that he lost. Game 3 went his opponent’s way, as he achieved 2 very quick “Maxie’s” Gallade’s, which supplied too much early pressure for him to overcome. Logan lost the 3rd game and match.
Much to our delight, his early loss and tie turned out to be against the top finishers in the Senior division and his strong resistance against the field kept Logan in 16th place, despite the loss. Whew! We’ll take it. Logan played an excellent tournament and thankfully was rewarded again with Championship points. We were impressed by his play and again were left wondering how he could be doing this season if this was his primary focus. We don’t know if they are up yet, but Pokemon.com has been posting everyone’s lists from Regionals. We won’t re-post their lists here, as that would be redundant, but if you’re interested in what they played, check it out there.
The Florida event wraps up the Winter Regional series (thank gawd!). We and the rest of the TCG community will again turn our focus back to the Standard format for the next round of State Championships and League Challenges. So, it’s time to swap “Juniper” for “Sycamore”, “Shauna” and “Birch” for “N”, “Skyla” for “Computer Search” and put away the frickin’ Lasers. Congratulations again to Gym Leaders Georgia and Logan for representing the Gym well in the Sunshine state! See you this Sunday at the Gym!