What in the World? – Predictions on the Upcoming World Championships!
Hello PokeBeach! I’m so glad to be here with you once again. It’s been great writing for you. I hope you’ve been enjoying your summer, I know I sure have! Usually, I take the summer to catch up on my sleep as well as practice Bassoon. I had the pleasure of attending a classical music festival down in Washington D.C. It was refreshing to be around fantastic, hard-working artists. I’m currently transitioning from my current city of East Lansing, Michigan to the beautiful metropolis of Cleveland, Ohio. I’m a little excited and very nervous to start graduate school down in Cleveland, but I know it’s going to be a great experience.
But enough about me, onto the article! For those of you that attended the U.S. National Championships, I hope you had a great time. For me, that was definitely one of the best weekends of Pokemon I’ve ever had. I got to meet some amazing players, sight see, party hard, and hang around with some of my closest friends. I was even able to cheer my teammates on to top 32 finishes! The tournament was a blast, and if you’ve never been to the National Championships, I cannot encourage you more to go. It is such a great time, even if you don’t do so hot in the main event. Today, I’d like to discuss how Nationals went for me as well as give some of my thoughts on the World Championships based on previous U.S. Nationals results.
This was my second Nationals and I had high hopes coming into the tournament. Last year, I was fortunate enough to have two byes because of my Ft. Wayne Regionals win. I went into the tournament with the epitome of all-or-nothing decks: Speed Lugia-EX. You’ll remember last year was the year of Pyroar, and though I only played one on the day, I ended with an abysmal 5-4 record. This stung. I finished the season three points shy of an invite and I attribute not getting my invite to a poor Nationals showing.
This year I had a very different mindset coming into the biggest tournament of the year. I secured my invite extremely early in the season and was looking for glory in the National Championships. I wanted a deck that performed well across the board and had no auto-loss matchups. I turned to my trusty Seismitoad-EX / Crobat.
I ended with a 5-1-3 record after Day One, which I’m satisfied with. My 18 points were good enough for a top 128 placement and 50 Championship Points. My deck choice of Seismitoad-EX / Crobat was not overly inspired, but I felt it gave me solid matchups across the board, which is something I value in a large tournament such as Nationals. For me to feel comfortable about a deck choice, I prefer to go into the tournament as if I can win every game I play instead of choosing a risky deck with a few auto-loss matchups. Below is the list I used to make the top 128. It is also the same card-for-card list my good friend Chris Derocher used to place 22nd overall.
4x Professor Juniper (PLF #116)
3x N (NVI #92)
4x Hypnotoxic Laser (PLS #123)
2x Virbank City Gym (PLS #126)
4x Double Colorless Energy (BS #96)
During the tournament I played against a wide variety of decks. It seems that people really exploited the interesting quirks of the format. I saw everything from Wailord-EX to Primal Kyogre-EX, to Dragonite to Rock Guard. It was an insane amount to deal with and the people that navigated through that metagame craziness definitely deserved it.
The field included a ton of M Manectric-EX, which caught me by surprise. My testing group had no idea Manectric would be in as many decks as it was – it was simply incredible how prevalent the card was! If you would have told me before the tournament that I’d play against two Manectric decks in nine rounds, I would have called you crazy. The card simply wasn’t on my or my testing partners’ radars. However, people saw its strengths against Seismitoad-EX and Crobat-based decks.
This situation brings up a great point of emphasis for those of you looking to take your game to the next level: have testing partners from around the country! They may be able to give you the inside scoop on what people in their region are bringing to a tournament like U.S. Nationals. Andrew Mahone and I were actually told about all the Manectric hype the night before the tournament, but just dismissed it because the card hadn’t performed well the entire season.
Here are the matchups that I played during the day. I played against some strong competition and had some extremely close games which is how it should be at the National tournament. I was glad to see so many people bring their A-game.
Round 1 – Bronzong (no Cobalion-EX, two Aegislash-EX) WW
Round 2 – Landorus-EX / Crobat WW
Round 3 – Top 8 Finisher Kristy Britton – Manectric-EX / Seismitoad-EX / Crobat / Rock Guard WL (Tie)
Round 4 – Bronzong / Cobalion-EX LL
Round 5 – Primal Kyogre-EX WL (Tie)
Round 6 – M Manectric-EX / Genesect-EX WLW
Round 7 – Primal Groudon-EX / Dragonite W
Round 8 – Wailord-EX / Suicune (Tie)
Round 9 – Night March – WW
I knew after round five that I would be in for a somewhat disappointing day. It is always my goal to come into these large tournaments to win, and I simply didn’t get there. I lost or tied a number of close matchups and it was a bit disheartening. However, a top 128 placement was nothing to be ashamed of. Knowing that I had a solid deck choice and decent matchups across the board made me feel good about my finish.
Going into the tournament, I figured I would want to beat Seismitoad-EX decks and Raichu decks. I was incorrect in my assumption that Raichu would show up in large numbers – I didn’t play a single Raichu deck all day! However, it does say something pretty special about the format that I played against eight completely unique decks during the tournament. I am blown away by the creativity shown by my opponents and the deck diversity is extremely healthy for the growth of our game.
Were I to go back and change decks, I think I might have played something like Bronzong / M Rayquaza-EX. This is the deck the other half of my testing group played and seemed like it would have been a strong contender, even with the high concentration of M Manectric-EX decks. Rayquaza-EX’s ability to swing hard and consistently makes it one of my top testing options for Worlds. However, it’s hard to be too upset with my choice. Seismitoad / Crobat took many people to the top 64 or higher and I know that with a bit more luck I could have ended up there myself.
Are you ready to take your game to the next level? In this next section, I will be giving you my predictions of the upcoming World tournament based on previous years’ U.S. Nationals results! We’ll look at the last few years of results and make a guess at what will be played at Worlds. If you’re going to the main event, you surely don’t want to miss what I have to say. Don’t be blindsided by the meta at the most prestigious event of the year. Subscribe today!
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