Over the weekend of the 7th and 8th of February, I was lucky enough to travel with a group of my closest friends to the Pokemon Sydney City Championships. We arrived Friday evening to a sweltering hot Sydney summer that would definitely play a role in the coming days. Each of our days began in the same way, we stayed up until all hours of the morning deciding on decks to play and what cards we considered a must-have for the current “meta.”
Day 1! Chatswood GoodGames
In a similar style to all tournament reports, I will be going over my deck choice and each round of my event to give you guys a hopefully full understanding of the choices I made and the way it lead me to a Top 8 finish! My deck choice for the event was Virizion/Genesect (VirGen for short) and as a unit we believed this deck to be the top performing deck out of each deck in the current format. I will unfortunately not be fully showing my list as we have a set of two City Championships in Brisbane this coming weekend! However, the list that I based my deck on can be found just below.
ROUND 1 vs Stephen? (Flareon/Stage 1’s) TIE 0-0-1
I was certainly not expecting to get my ONLY terrible match-up in the first round of the day. We shook hands and I had a feeling when I saw him that I knew he would be playing Flareon. In the first game, we traded prizes early but without any N’s I fell behind and couldn’t salvage the game. Game two was much slower and I found myself in multiple winning positions throughout the game unable to capitalize after being N’d to 1/2. I eventually managed to dig with Juniper for a plasma energy to win the game and with only five minutes left in the round our 3rd game was wildly paced. We got down to three prizes each when time was called, but I didn’t have enough cards on the board for him to win in time and as a result we end up in a draw. GG!
ROUND 2 vs ? (Seismatoad/Reshiram/Crobat) WIN 1-0-1
I had never met this player before and he said that he was relatively new to the Pokemon scene in Sydney. It was a pleasure to meet someone so fresh faced and eager to enjoy the game as much as he was. He flipped over Seismatoad in game one and I was incredibly stoked to be able to play against a deck I knew I had an incredibly easy match-up against. Game one I started with a single Deoxys on the field and no access to a switch to get it out of the active. He started well and the majority of my turns were spent passing until he finally killed Deoxys. At this point, I drew my card and noticed I had no supporters in eight cards and scooped to avoid losing on time.
Game two went as expected for my deck, I started 1st and was able to set up a commanding board presence while he struggled to do much against a water-resistant Virizion ex. I had no issues with supporters in this game and took it 6-0. Game three was much the same; he was unable to get out his Reshirams while I killed two Seismatoads early to get up a major advantage. He dropped his Reshirams late in the game but with a combination of Muscle Band & Deoxys EX I was able to KO them in one hit with Genesect. Good Game!
ROUND 3 vs Blake (Aromatisse) WIN 2-0-1
As this was my first of the day, you’ll be surprised to know that for rounds 3-6 I played entirely against this exact Aromatisse build. This deck was oddly popular in Sydney and as a team we were not prepared for it, but after an entire day of learning the deck and its weak points I feel I was able to take away some solid information regarding the list and its counters. Game one started and he flipped over Charizard EX which was an immediate red flag to me as my entire deck is weak to fire. As the game progressed however, he was unlucky to miss a supporter after an N and failed to get any momentum going in the game. I set up as per usual, while he was left to Top-Decking card after card until the game was over.
Game two started in the same vain, he flipped over Landorus EX and did not play a supporter on the first turn. I ended up having to use N early this game as I had very limited options. With a mix of attackers almost set up, he managed to take several knock-outs with Landorus before it went down. Once again, I played N this time to limit him to 4 cards and he was unlucky again and not able to draw any supporters. That was the game for him and I took an unfortunate win against a new friend. GG!
Round 4 vs Shane (Aromatisse) LOSS 2-1-1
Playing against my old friend Shane in round four, I was aware of what he was playing and he mentioned he knew what deck I am playing too. What I was not aware of was the extent to which his deck could counter my own. In game 1 I took an incredibly strong early lead, before he dropped a different Charizard EX and proceeded to take a KO on my active Virizion EX. I managed to get off a next turn G-Booster to KO his Charizard, but he managed to discard the G-Booster with Xerosic and use Spiritbomb to block off my ability to play it again. The game went downhill from there as I was unable to return any KO’s and subsequently lost the game three turns later. Game two was much the same; I got out to an early lead by taking two prizes on two Spirtzee in order to stop his Aromatisse from powering up. He then played Lysandre’s Trump Card and got an Aromatisse onto the board where he regained full control of the game. I was lucky enough to play this deck in the earlier rounds and took it forward as a learning experience into the later rounds! GG Shane!
Round 5 vs Paul (Aromatisse) WIN- 3-1-1
Another Sydney player that I have been friends with for many years is Paul and I was actually under the assumption he was playing something different to his teammate Shane. However, he flipped over Spritzee and Manectric EX and I immediately realised that this would be a hard matchup if they turned out to be playing the same tech cards. Game one started off slow for us both; he went first and didn’t play a supporter and so I was forced to Skyla three turns in a row to avoid N’ing my opponent. I took a KO on one of his active Pokemon and without much access to playable supporters the game was a landslide victory for myself. Game two was much closer. He managed to get his combination of Baby Xerneas and Aromatisse going fairly early on in the game. It became a game of trading prizes right down to the last moments, where he N’d me to 1 card with only 8 cards left in my deck. I knew that I had the cards I needed to win and with two draws and three vs seeker + Lysandre I felt I had a good chance. I picked up VS Seeker to get back G-Booster to seal the game in a 2-0 finish. GG Paul!
Round 6 vs Nathan (Aromatisse) WIN 4-1-1 (5th seed into Top 8)
Last round of the day before Top Cut and I was still wondering whether or not I had enough to make the cut. I sat down across from an old friend Nathan who I played this time last year in the Top 8 of City cities. I wasn’t aware of what he was playing, but I was fairly certain he knew my deck. Game one is difficult to remember., however I do remember him using his Charizard ex to take an early KO on my Virizion ex. I was able to come back into the game with consecutive G-Booster’s for four prizes and as a result I took a commanding lead going into game two.
Game two started lightning fast for me and I was already down to two prizes left after only a few turns of the game. I was once again N’d to a small amount of cards and after drawing nothing for the first turn, my next card was a Professor Juniper and I was able to regain some momentum. At this point I was looking for a couple of very specific cards and as my deck was getting lower and lower I knew I would have a good chance of drawing them, especially because I had left all 3 v.s seeker in the deck just in case. I managed to draw an energy off the top of my deck to win the game after he made a large comeback and I moved on to the top 8 in 4th seed! GG Nathan!
The Top 7/8- Not pictured, myself. I was getting dinner!
Top 8 vs Jordan Palmer (Landorus/Crobat) LOSS 1-2
Moving onto Top 8 and I wasn’t even aware of what half of my potential opponents were playing at this stage. I was under the assumption however, after hearing one of my fellow competitors list out the decks being used in the Top Cut that I would be playing against Landorus/Crobat and I was correct. Jordan is a very strong Adelaide player and was the 2nd place National Champion in 2014 so I had to be on my game to stand a chance. Game one was unfortunate for both of us. My opponent started with a lone Zubat and passed his turn. I managed to attach to Virizion and play a couple of cards before also passing. He looked down at his hand and announced N, hoping to draw into another Pokemon, it would seem. He studied his hand for a moment, asked if I have an energy in my hand and proceeded to scoop due to not having another Pokemon down. After this game however, things started to go a little bit downhill for my deck. Game two I started without a supporter and was completely smashed in just a few turns. Things looked even worse in game three as I had a supporter, but completely missed a T1 energy attach on Virizion ex, which set me super far behind. The speedy Landorus/Bats combination was way too much for me to handle and I fell out of the tournament a few turns later in 6th place!
DAY 2- Burwood Good Games!
By 11am, the heat had risen to over 30 degrees outside and this meant there would be an excessive amount of sweating going on during the day.
We were up early and I had switched decks for day two under the assumption that Landorus/Crobat would be wildly more popular and I wished to counter it whenever possible. I was also quite sleep deprived, so my choice in deck ended up being one of fun and child-like optimism. I was playing Manectric/Suicune/Mewtwo/Kyurem for the 2nd day, a list I am also not going to give out today.
ROUND 1 vs Poke’Dad (Landorus/Manectric) LOSS 0-1-0
I started the day versing a man who I have seen and spoken to at many events in the past, but whose name escapes me this time! He was playing Landorus/Manectric and I think I knew that at the time, so I was really expecting my Suicune to carry me during this game. We got down to an extremely close 40 minute game one where we each only had one prize left and we began to N each other time and time again to try to win. After a bad draw from me and a Juniper draw from him, I was out of the game and with only 10 minutes left I didn’t feel I had enough time to win. GG!
ROUND 2 vs Blake (Yveltal/Mewtwo) WIN 1-1-0
My first Queenslander of the weekend was my friend Blake, who drove down from Brisbane to Sydney on Friday afternoon and managed to make it just in time! I was playing what I consider to be the ultimate counter deck to Yveltal EX with Magnetic Storms to prevent their Shadow Circles. Game one was very one sided; I was able to take a KO on an Yveltal EX by replacing his stadium with my own, and after a Lysandre onto a 2nd benched Yveltal I was in a commanding game position which Blake to break. Game two was much closer. I was struggling to get out Manectrics while he set up very well and nearly had a OHKO on one of my Manectric that I had placed active to stall for a turn. Once I drew a Professor Juniper into Computer Search, however, game two was much the same as the first as I was able to exploit Lysandre after Lysandre to take out benched Pokemon without energy on them! GG Blake!
ROUND 3 vs Anthony (Virizion/Genesect) Win 2-1-0
Not only my best friend, but also my teammate Anthony and I were set to face off in round 3 with the loser looking likely to miss the cut based on resistances. Of course, we both knew what each other was playing from card #1 to card #60 and that meant it was unlikely we were going to be surprised by anything. Game one was over very quickly, as going 2nd with my deck makes it almost impossible to win vs Virizion. He set up quicker that me and managed to shut down my Mega Manectric ex with a G-Booster + Deoxys EX combo for 210 damage. Game two was looking much better for me, as he missed an energy attachment to Virizion EX and I’m able to KO his Deoxys ex active before he has any chance for retaliation. With several Lysandres in a row and a couple of N’s to slow me down, the game dragged out and I eventually managed to KO a benched Jirachi ex for the game. Game three looked like it was all over when I found myself down 5-0 in prizes and without much of a board to build up. However, I top decked VS Seeker to N him to one, netting me six cards in the process that I could use for the turn. With an energy switch and professor’s letter combo, I was able to KO his active Genesect, leaving him with little energy on the field and a hand of 1 card. He could do nothing but pass for 3/4 turns without drawing any answers before I eventually took my last prizes in the closest series I’ve ever played! GG friend.
ROUND 4 vs Adam (Metal) Win 3-1-0
Another close and personal friend, Adam, played me in the 4th round of the day We were both sitting at a respectable 2-1 hoping to get some momentum heading towards the top end of the day. We were both visibly tired at this point, and after chatting for a while and getting our first game underway, it became apparent that one of us was going to win by a clear margin. My deck has an almost auto-win matchup against Metal and as a result I was able to stream home in game one in under 10 minutes, having taken multiple KO’s back-to-back. This allowed us to play a chilled-out 2nd game, chatting and catching up and discussing our plans for the evening, before heading back to Brisbane on Monday morning. Taking the prize lead in game two, he scooped when he was unable to maintain his board position and we continued to chat until the end of the round 20 minutes later! GG my friend and I look forward to seeing you again soon.
Round 5 vs Shanan (NightMarch) Draw 3-1-1
It looked like a day where I would play all of my friends in a row from this point forward, with Shanan being no exception as he was my opponent in the finals of this event last year! At the time he and I had enjoyed a nice and quiet game, with some chatting in between and looks of disappointment when something hilarious happened. This time around I quickly learnt that he was not messing about however, as he dismantled my deck in a matter of minutes and I was left wondering what I could possibly do to catch up. Game two I employed a different strategy to the first; instead of going for constant Lysandre’s Trump Card’s I instead opted for an aggressive approach, KO’ing two Mew EX after a few turns. Not long later, I was N’d to a minimal amount of cards and struggled to draw an answer while he refreshed his board position. I drew a Juniper a turn later and regained control with an energy switch onto a Manectric to kill his final ex Pokemon for the win. In game three, we both had three prizes left when time was called and, unable to win the game in any way, I just passed my way to a very respectable draw with an incredibly strong player. GG Shanan!
ROUND 6 (The decider) vs Jake (Virizion/Genesect) Loss 3-2-1 (13th seed)
After a long day, I played against fellow Ace Trainer Jake in the last round! To me, this match really came down to who went first in game one. I am certain that had I gone first the results could have been different, as they have every single time in testing in the past two months. He started game one strongly, but I make a wild comeback after dropping spiritomb and N’ing him to three cards in the late game. After several turns of stalling, Jake was able to take a double KO to win the game, while I had game in hand the next turn. Game two I started first and absolutely destroyed all of his chances at setup. This game was much longer however, so running out of time it seemed to me that, without any way to win and having gone 2nd, I would have to draw a miracle hand to do what I needed. As time was called, he was far ahead on prizes and in the spirit of the competition I gave Jake the win as a testament to his hard work over the two days of competition!
Congratulations to my opponent from day one Jordan Palmer for claiming the day two championship and my friend and teammate Syahmi Razak for winning day one!
Thank you everyone for reading, I had a blast down in Sydney and I cannot wait to bring you a similar article for Brisbane City Championships this coming weekend!