Continuing on from the previous article found here. This time we have extensive interviews with Jordan Palmer and Kaiwen Kuan. Hear what they have to say about the recent Pokemon Nationals and what it took to place in the top 4.
Q:First of all Jordy, congratulations! Tell me about your deck, what deck did you decide to play on the day?
A: I decided to play the Basic Plasma deck with Lugia ex and Absol as my main focus of the deck, as well as Kyurem.
Q: Seniors this year had 5 rounds of swiss which is quite solid, tell me about your Swiss rounds how were they?
A: In the Swiss rounds I managed to go 4-1 and the only deck that I lost to on the day was Darkrai/Lasers/Absol. Game 1 I played vs Garbodor/Big basics and was quite comfortably able to take away a win in my first round. Game 2 I played against Ray-Eels and won. Round 3 was straight big basics which was my 3rd win of the day. Round 4 was the Darkrai that I lost to in the end and then game 5 was against Garbodor/Cobalion which was probably my toughest match of the day and I managed to sneak away with a win to end Swiss 4-2 at 2nd seed going into the top 4 the next day.
Q: How about your top 4 game mate, what did you end up playing against?
A: Top 4 I played vs Chris Khan who was playing Rayquaza/Eelektrik. He was the same Eels player that I played during Swiss and I could
tell that he had learnt from our previous matchup as these games were definitely much closer than the last time! I definitely felt like I got
a little lucky in these games to come out on top with Lazer flips and late game N’s but I was just able to overpower his setup at the end of
Q: And tell me a little bit more about your deck before we get to your final match vs Kaiwen. I want to hear a little bit about Lugia first of all, why did you decide to run this card in your list and did you use it to great effect on the day?
A: In the Swiss rounds of the tournament I don’t think I used Lugia that much, infact in the first 3 rounds I don’t think I even benched Lugia
at all. In the 4th game it helped a little bit and in my 5th game of the day it actually won me the game quite convincingly. It wasn’t really until
the top cut however that I used Lugia to his full potential in the top 4 where I was able to get to set Lugia up t1 and cripple his Rayquaza ex from
the early stages.
Q: Were there any changes that you would have made to your decklist looking back on your day?
A: Before I had played in the top cut rounds I think that I would have dropped the Lugia ex from my list, but after the event I feel as though he works
quite well for me and I would definitely keep him in the list. Other than that, I think I would need to have another look over my list before I made any
changes to the deck as it’s done very well for me this weekend!
Q: I wanted also to hear about your choice of 1 Max Potion and 2 Bicycle in your list. Was there any time in the day you felt you really, really wanted a 2nd Max Potion in the deck?
A: Originally I wasn’t running a max potion and had put it in after testing. The reason being I was having a lot of game where in the mirror match I would
be hit for loads of damage but never KO’s and I wanted to have an answer to this with Max Potion. I think its one of my favourite cards I put in the deck as it
saved me on many occasions from losing valuable prize trades and even from being sniped by Kyurem in the late game. I think that keeping it at a count of 1 means
I don’t have to deal with discarding too many energy in my games so I can play around with my attackers a little bit more freely.
Q: Just one more question before we get into your top cut match Jordy, I notice that you’re playing a singular copy of random reciever. Why is that?
A: Like the Max Potion, Random Reciever is one of my recent additions to the deck. I decided to keep it in my deck as it seemed to run rather smoothly with the
singular copy of the card and I don’t think there is any reason I chose it over another supporter but I wouldn’t change it to one if I had the option.
Q: And now talk to me about your Top 2 game with Kaiwen, you ended up losing unfortunately but I had heard the games were quite close. Tell me about it?
A: I wouldn’t really call the games close, it was the Plasma Mirror match which was the first one I had played in the event and with an Absol in my list I fealt as though I would have a slightly favourable matchup on the day but it wasn’t the case. I didn’t think that he was teched against the mirror match and game 1 was just a complete clean sweep by him I never really got my cards going at any stage of the game. Game 2 was quite a little bit closer in the end, I was down to 3 prizes when he won the game. I was getting supporters and drawing what I needed to set up and do damage he was just always a turn ahead of me in the game and he was able to come out with a win in the end. It was close at some stages on the day, where if he hadn’t gotten what he needed off draws and I had an extra turn of drawing through my deck I would have won, but in the end it was a very good game and i’m happy to have made it that far to begin with!
Q: Very impressive run today Jordy, I just have 1 more question before we wrap up here today. You earned a huge amount of points from this event today, will you be going to worlds?
A: I’m definitely going to be attending worlds this year!
Q: Hey guys, Bodhi here again this time with the Winner of the Senior Division for Australian Nationals 2013 Kaiwen. I know we were chatting for a little bit already buddy, but first of all tell us about the deck you were playing and what deck you came up against in the finals?
A: I was playing a Team Plasma deck or T/D/K with Lugia. I didn’t get too much play-testing done before the event so I was quite lucky to get to the finals where I played the Plasma mirror. In the 2 games of the finals I played he drew dead in our first game as he was unable to get a supporter for multiple turns as I set up with Kyurem trying to set up double KO’s or 3 Prize trades with Lugia ex. Eventually though I managed to get a perfect Kyurem setup going with 3 Deoxys, Lazer/Virbank and another one on the bench just incase I lost my first one and that won me the game. Game 2 was a lot closer than the first, we both just missed a few crucial cards towards the end of the game but I managed to top deck a Skyla but was N’d to one after that and managed to draw into the final catcher I needed off of my own N to win the close 2nd game.
Q: Tell me more about your rounds yesterday, you guys had 5 rounds of Swiss what did you end up playing against?
A: Nothing really stood out to me, to be honest. I was really expecting the Meta game to just be Darkrai and Plasma decks and I was correct in my thoughts as that is exactly what it turned out to be. In round 1 I played against Brent who I believe came 3rd in the event which I was very excited about, he was playing Darkrai and we had some good games. I drew dead the entire first game and had to scoop as I just wasn’t drawing anything due to 4/5 of my supporters being in my prizes. Game 2 I made a rather large misplay but I was very thankful to him as he let me take it back and that ultimately =won me the game in the end. Game 3 my opponent was incredibly lucky to get a triple Dark Patch as well as a manual attachment to a Keldeo EX he had active and right from that point I knew the game was probably going to go downhill in his favor. Round 2 I played a Plasma deck and he made a Misplay that unfortunately netted him a game loss. He played Scramble Switch and didn’t Switch the active Pokemon out he just switched the energy. I ended up winning that game quite convincingly and Round 3 I was paired against a really good player from Canberra named Daniel who already had his invite. He was another Darkrai player however so I was confident I could win the match if I put my head down and focused. I ended up winning as I N’d him to 1 card at the end to make him miss his Catcher to beat me. Round 4 was another Plasma mirror and I was able to 2-0 him as both of our games he seemed to not draw any supporters at all and that carried me through the games. The final round I played against a friend of mine which I always hate having to do as I had to knock him out of Top Cut to make it in myself. He was playing Big Places (Tornadus/Landorus/Boufallant) and Plasma does a pretty great job of Covering all of the weaknesses that deck has.
Q: Do you have any plans for the next 6 weeks before you head to the World Championships? Will you be testing hard-core with your friends or do you have any other plans?
A: I just finished my exams, so thankfully there isn’t much school left for me this Semester! Now that I have the Paid trip, I am definitely going to Playtest for worlds atleast 3/4 times a week during the Holidays and hopefully after school or on weekends when school restarts soon. Melbourne has always had a very strong gaming society for Pokemon so I know that I can get some very top-notch testing done for Worlds this year as well as continuing into Masters next year.
Q: A little more about your deck now, was there anything that stood out about your deck on the day? Did you have any tech cards in your deck that people would want to hear about?
A: To be honest there really wasn’t anything techy about my deck, I just tried to keep it as Standard and Consistent as possible. I wasn’t running Max Potion until the evening before the event but had changed it on the Morning thanks to a friends recommendation. The card that was probably the worst part of my deck was definitely Lugia EX, he never did anything for me and I wasn’t running DCE because of room and rather than running Lugia an Absol would have certainly been a very strong addition to the list and would have helped me much more than he (Lugia) did.
Q: Were there any particular Matchups that you were worried about on the day? I know that you faced a lot of mirror Matches but were you thankful to dodge any others?
A: There was absolutely no Blastoise in the field, which is essentially due to the fact that no one can really afford the Tropical Beaches. As I had one myself I was considering Blastoise but decided my best bet would be Plasma as it felt more consistent overall.
Q: Are you excited for Masters next year? Do you have any plans to show up some of those guys who you mentioned who had been helping you through the ranks?
A: Definitely excited for Masters! In my opinion it’s where the fun of the game really starts as the competition especially at events like this is huge!
Q: Do you have sort of Predictions that you can make initially that you might see when you arrive in Canada for Worlds? Can we expect more of the same you saw today?
A: As of yet I hadn’t given much thought to the Worlds Meta-Game, but I think that I can definitely expect Plasma to be the number 1 deck that is up there in the ranks of Darkrai for Nationals/Worlds last
Q: I know that everyone who will be reading this may not know quite what the staples are in a typical Plasma list and without sharing your whole list would it be possible to hear a little bit more about your deck and what you played that our readers who enjoy hearing about?
A: First of all, I ran 3 Thundurus ex as I had told myself I 100% needed to start with it every time. I felt really comfortable with 3 Thundurus and I decided to keep my numbers quite high and run 3 Kyurem and 4 Deoxys Ex. I also ran Keldeo EX with Float Stone as my Switching mechanic and the Painfully bad Lugia EX that I would definitely switch should I continue to play the deck into worlds. In the Trainers/Supporters lineup there is nothing I considered to be very unique or different than I saw everyone else playing. I ran 4 N, 4 Juniper, 2 Skyla, 2 Colress and a Singular Copy of Bianca to round out what I considered to be the strongest lineup of trainers. I originally had 3 Skyla in the list, but took 1 out for Max Potion as I never wanted to have to Skyla for a Supporter and instead I could get away with using Juniper away Skyla and everything else of the like.
Thankyou very much Kaiwen for the interview and good luck for Worlds 2013!