Thursday, July 5, 2012

Causing Commotion with Explosions at Nationals

This past weekend, me and my brother were battling it out at the Pokémon VGC Nationals tournament in Indiana. Thanks to my brother's earlier victory at Regionals, we got (partially) free airfare and a free hotel room. Since April, we've been training and making adjustments to our teams. Did our hard work pay off?

Let me introduce the six Pokémon I took to Nationals:
Iago, Bolin, Eeyore, Miss Piggy, Dr. Doom and Zant are ready to battle!
An odd team for a fact. One of my Pokémon is not even fully evolved! It might be hard to see what my team was about unless I said it's Explosion! The idea was first a joke my friends threw around, but then I started playing it and developed this team. Landorus and Metagross have the job of exploding on the opposing team, and it's up to the rest of my Pokémon to help them do it. Even if I don't explode, I still have a few tricks up my sleeve to help me out.

My favorite part of this team is my Murkrow, Iago. Murkrow has the ability Prankster, which gives priority to non-attacking moves. Murkrow also knows the move Quash, which postpones an opponent's move making them attack last. I didn't want the opponent to knock me out before I could use Explosion, so I have Murkrow stop them from attacking first. As Murkrow is the only Pokémon to have both Prankster and Quash, I had to have him on my team. Tailwind also increased my speed to help get the leg up on my opponent.  

This team wasn't perfect, and in practice Terrakion (Eeyore) and Musharna (Miss Piggy) didn't pull their weight. I lost every battle that I used Murkrow and Musharna together. Terrakion and Musharna had their shining moments, but overall I think I can get better Pokémon. Gengar is no slouch, but a Dreamworld Chandelure can do the job of both Gengar and Musharna. I ended up with a losing 3-5 record, which is somewhat disappointing. I like my team, but I'd definitely change it up if I had the chance.

Here's a battle that shows how my team worked. My opponent was a funny guy. When I was checking out of the hotel, he asked if he borrowed anything from me. He must have had a crazy night, haha!

So how did Champion Scott's battles go? Day 1 wasn't bad. Thanks to his two byes, Scott managed to get a 5-2 record. Since he fought the hardest fighters, his percentage was higher and he managed to advance to Day 2. Scott's results were similar to last year's nationals. He won his first match but barely missed his chance to get into semifinals. The guy who beat Scott eventually won the whole thing. He had a perfect win record until my brother beat him once in a best 2 out of 3. Scott fought hard in his battles, which makes him a champ win or lose. Besides, there aren't many people that can call themselves 7th best in the nation. Scott is very secretive about his team, so I can't show any gameplay here. But his battles are nothing short of legendary.

Besides battling, we managed to get in a few trades. We got to check off some Pokémon on our cardlist. I was personally excited to trade away my Togepi for a Shiftry. Either that guy really wanted a Togepi, or I'm a really good barterer! Either way, we've made some impressive trades.

Trade a Togepi for this? Heck yeah!
When we weren't immersed in the world of Pokémon, we were either eating or just chilling at the hotel. The hotel we stayed at was actually an old train station. There were two full size trains that had their cabins turned into hotel rooms. We didn't stay in one, but it was nice to check out the rooms. Trains still pass through the hotel, but the concierge desk didn't need to tell us that. Subtle rumblings my butt! Those things woke me up twice every night!
The hollowed out train had rooms in them. The real ones woke me up every night!
All in all, Nationals was a fun experience. Sure, a homeless person made off with my quesadillas, but I got to meet some of the coolest people around and see my brother kick butt and take names! It was great to meet so many people who played Pokémon. I want to say thank you to all the cool people I met, congratulations to the winners, and a very special thank you to my dad and Scott. Nationals was awesome and I can't wait to compete again.