Hawaii-Blog #5 - Pokémon TCG World Championships!
Welcome back to our fifth entry of the Hawaii-Blog! In the previous entries, we wrote about our trip to Hawaii, the people we met there, the Hawaiian paradise we explored, the experiences we made... now it's time for the Worlds report! You will find Ole's report here. His 27th place in Masters Division was the best result of all Card Leaders who participated in the World Championships this year.
Ole's Worlds Report with Mewtwo/Zekrom/Eelektrik
For this year's World Championships - my first Worlds ever - I decided to play Mewtwo/Zekrom/Eelektrik, which I piloted to one 1st place and one 2nd place at two Arena Cups in Germany this summer (those special tournaments can be considered as City Championships). I only made a few changes: I added Tornadus EX, Super Rod and PlusPower. For that, I removed one Mewtwo EX, one Eviolite and one Max Potion. This is the decklist I used at Worlds 2012:
Zekrom / Eelektrik / Mewtwo (Top 32 Worlds 2012)
1st Round vs Wai Kit Lam (HK, Celebi/Mewtwo/Tornadus) - 0:1
I had a bad start into my first World Championships. After I mulliganed one time my opening hand contained a Thunder Wave Tynamo, two DCEs, one Lightning Energy, one Junk Arm, one Pokémon Catcher and one Switch. There was no option to do anything with these cards. My opponent, who helped building the deck of our National Champion Steven Mao, started the game with Terrakion. He attached a Fighting Energy and passed his turn... I was hoping that he didn't have anything either. I topdecked - another Pokémon Catcher. Like in my first round at Nationals, where I survived four turns with a lone Tyrogue active, my deck didn't give me hope. I attached to Tynamo, flipped for Thunder Wave: Heads. But that didn't matter anymore - my opponent benched Mewtwo, attached to Terrakion, Switch to Mewtwo, Junk Arm for Switch, GG.
2nd Round vs Isaiah Middleton (US, Darkrai/Mewtwo) - 1:1
After this bad start into the tournament, I just wanted to face some interesting and strong opponents and do my best. [...] This time, the game went better for me.
Isaiah used his two Smeargle a lot to do his setup. We played at least six N before doing anything. My start wasn't bad, though. I could start attacking turn three. My opponent had only one card in hand left. His setup was not completed yet. I had two N, one Juniper and one Random Receiver. I played the Random Receiver to put it into the discard pile and got another N. Then I got an idea, which was a risky play, but maybe very disrupting for my opponent's Smeargle setup: I played Juniper to discard all my N and drew a new hand without any Supporters.
My opponent struggled continuing his setup without my Supporters. Before he drew a Professor Oak's New Theory, I had already knocked out some of his Pokémon and built up a solid prize lead. He didn't draw his Mewtwo EX to KO my own Mewtwo. An OHKO on Darkrai EX sealed the game for me.
3rd Round vs Edmund Kuras (US, Mewtwo/Zekrom/Eelektrik + Terrakion) - 2:1
There are no "easy" matches at Worlds - every time when I read my pairing I thought "this will be hard to win". Like Isaiah, Edmund is a player that I had already known by name before Worlds because his last season was good. What I discovered the day before: he speaks German! This was quite funny and an interesting experience to speak German with a Pokémon player who I met at Worlds the first time.
I can't remember all details of the game. I think I had a solid start. He revealed his Terrakion tech by playing Energy Search. I couldn't use Raikou EX because of that, but I managed to set up and put pressure on my opponent without it, too. I won the game in the end... unfortunately, I forgot most of the details.
4th Round vs Igor Costa (PT, Darkrai/Mewtwo/Terrakion) - 2:2
Igor was my first opponent who was almost completely unknown for me. I think I saw him on an international tournament in Europe, but that was all I knew. But at Worlds there is no reason to underestimate your opponents - all of them had managed to qualify for this tournament and all of them are very good players.
My start was not as bad as it turned out after I lost the opening flip. Igor started with Mewtwo against my two Tynamo. DCE for the first knockout. I tried to get more Tynamo into play and hoped to get a revenge KO on Mewtwo the next turn. But he moved his Energy to a Darkrai that he built up T2 and knocked my second Tynamo out. I managed to set up after that, but I couldn't make a comeback. My opponent's start was too fast.
5th Round vs Luke Burke (GB, Darkrai/Mewtwo) - 3:2
I can only remember the end of the game, not the start. Luke had knocked all of my Eelektrik out and I had some big HP Pokémon like Zekrom, Mewtwo EX and Raikou EX left. I thought this could be an advantage for me, because he wouldn't be able to OHKO them. I was right - he wasn't able to draw his last prizes. He was better the whole game, but maybe he should have focused less on my Eelektrik and more on my EXs in the end.
6th Round vs Dustin Zimmerman (US, Darkrai/Mewtwo) - 4:2
In round six I faced another strong player from the USA. He told me that he I was his third opponent from Denmark... I explained him that "DE" means Germany (Deutschland in German) here. He had played against my teammate Karl Peters and Steffen From (who is actually from Denmark).
I got a huge prize lead early in the game because I could start the Mewtwo war for which Dustin had no answer. Later in the game my opponent's setup was better, but he played too slow to mount a comback in time. There was no reason for me to play faster than Dustin. My four prize lead was big enough to win the game. One of the judges who came to our table randomly gave me a Warning for time play... my opponent seemed to be a little bit surprised about that decision, too. Time was called a few minutes later and my prize lead was still big enough. It was my first round where the time was called.Time play is nothing I agree with, but I think I should be allowed to think as long as my opponent does even if I have the prize lead. Dustin was nice and didn't try to get an advantage out of my Warning - all of my opponents at Worlds were nice and it was a lot of fun to play Pokémon with them.
7th Round vs Arturo Miranda (MX, Darkrai/Mewtwo) - 5:2
Huh, 4:2 was a nice score for me. I had already reached my goal: winning at least four of my seven games. Pairings for Round 7 gave me table 8 - I even played in the first row! My opponent and I were the best seated 4-2ers. I wasn't sure if I still had a chance to reach Top 16, but at least I wanted to try!
I had seen my opponent before, so I knew that he played Darkrai/Mewtwo. I was 3-1 against that deck... in one tournament... that's not what I would call diversity of decks. I can't even remember all details of the games against Darkrai/Mewtwo because they stick together in my head like one game.
I had a decent start. In the beginning, I did some damage with Zekrom's Outrage, for example on one of Arturo's Shaymins. 30 damage because of PlusPower - I hadn't used that card in the whole tournament before, but it was very important here.
Mewtwo EX was strong. It was stronger than Darkrai in this tournament, I think. I managed to OHKO Darkrai more than one time in all the games. I built up a prize lead against Arturo and put pressure on him.
He was able to mount a comeback at the end of the game and egalized my prize lead. I had no Supporters left in the deck and he played N. My two or three cards in hand weren't useful for me, so I had to pass several turns. Arturo hadn't much, too. I could prepare my attackers and try to take my last prizes. My hand got better: Junk Arm, Max Potion and Zekrom. But there was no card in my discard pile that could have helped me. A Random Receiver showed me that there was no Supporter left anymore... I don't know why I tried to get one. Arturo had Shaymin with 30 damage active and catchered Eelektrik, hoping that I couldn't retreat it for the rest of the game. Time was called - I had to pass my first turn because I only had a Lightning Energy. My opponent couldn't attack as well. He passed with Shaymin active. Third turn in Timeout, topdeck mode on: Switch! I gave my benched Mewtwo a Lighting Energy via Dynamotor, attached the Lightning from hand which I fortunately hadn't attached somewhere else before, switched for Mewtwo and knocked Shaymin out. There was a lot of luck involved, but I was happy about the result. 5:2 at my first Worlds, unbelievable!
I finished 27th in the end and missed Top 16 with that, obviously. My teammates Karl and Dennis finished 2-5... same did our Juniors player Thoralf. Steven was the only German player in all divisions who reached Top 16, but he lost his first match against Michael Pramawat. I think all European players were cheering for Igor Costa from Portugal, who won the World Championships in Masters Division.
Well, one of my two losses was against the new World champion, the other one was because of extreme Bad Draw... so I think I did as well as in any way possible. Additionally, I got some nice prizes for Top 32: a Worlds bag, a Dragons Exalted booster box, two T32 Tropical Beach promos and a T32 Worlds basecap.
Thank you for reading our Hawaii-Blog! We hope you enjoyed reading our entries. This is the last entry, but not the last thing about Hawaii - there will be a special Hawaii video which will hopefully be finished this week. You will find it here as well as on our YouTube channel cardleaders. Thanks again and see you on tournaments next year!
Dennis, Karl, Marcel and Ole