Celestial Storm is out now and as per usual we had the pre-releases a few weeks before the set was to be released. Unlike most of the pro players, I do enjoy these pre-release events, playing in a fun setting and making decks on the fly. But these few ones were a bit different. Celestial Storm had Metagross in the pre-release kit and a very playble Swampert too. The chances of getting them are 66.67% and I was going to three. I’m surely bound to get them in at least two events.
That never happened. Instead I got the worst kit possible two times (the Delcatty/Swalot and Manectric/Lanturn sets) on back to back Sundays. And I got nothing playable in my 4 packs to make the deck any good so I was stuck with what I got. At least I got my Metagross line on the EXT event and that might have been the best pre-release deck I ever played. Shame that was the only good thing out of the 3 pre-release events. My pulls weren’t even that good for once haha!
Event #1 @ Sanctuary Gaming (22nd July)
Game 1: Win vs Swampert/Lanturn
Lucky me most of my opponent’s pokemons only had one attack which is when I realised Swalot is not a bad counter against most of the pre-release decks since Metagross, Manectric, Swampert and Lanturn all only have one attack. I should have lost this match but my opponent wasn’t careful with his “trading” using Swamper’s ability and a late move to use Underground Expedition cost him, because now it meant he’d deck out first and I still had him locked with Swalot.
Game 2: Lose vs Metagross/Stakataka-GX
This was an ass-kicking. I got an early nest ball so I got to do a deck search to see what was prized and my three main attackers were all prized. There was no chance I’d win this game and my friend went on to swipe the field. Here’s picture proof of those horrible prizes.
Game 3: Win vs Metagross/Swampert
Once again Swalot was the MVP here. Locking my opponent till the point he felt the need to bring up a bulky Celesteela to try to deck me out but I had other ideas, using Banette to snipe the rest of his field and pick up my last two prizes that way.
So yeah that rubbish deck managed to get 2 wins out of nowhere! I even told one of the pro Singapore players (Clifton) that I had no confidence that I’d get a win out of this deck and he looked through it and told me just to play my game and I might surprise myself and I did! What he said after the event was true too, it says a lot about a player if he can get 2 wins out of what was thought to be a bad deck so that did cheer me up abit. I did get one Steven’s Resolve from my prize packs, 3 more to go till my new Metagross deck is up and running.
Event #2 @ Project EXT (27th July)
I was all smiles the moment I saw the Celesteela promo, it was a 100% sure thing I’d get my Metagross line I was after. I included Manectric in the hopes to power up Celesteela with Manectric’s attack which allows you to attach 2 basic energy cards from your hand to a benched pokemon. Already thinking of creative combos for this set and I’d get to try this one in this pre-release.
Game 1: Win vs Swalot/Delcatty
I was first up against one of my friends and we jokingly said we’d be paired up for the first round and it actually happened. I got Manectric straight away and Celesteela so the combo was working right off. I did need the help of my secret tech of a Wingull to help me get out of certain situations, namely sleep.
Game 2: Lose vs Metagross/Swampert
This was a case of who won the coin toss and sadly my opponent won so it meant he got his Metagross up before I did and I couldn’t stop it.
Game 3: Win vs Metagross/Lanturn
Another mirror match but this time my opponent could not set up their Metagross so I swept their field with mine while charging up my Celesteela for the last few prizes. I even got to use Last Chance Potion at one point!
I have to say that deck might be the best pre-release deck I ever made and played. It worked so smoothly almost everytime. The Celesteela/Manectric combo is something I might experiment with for real too and of course, it’s always good to use one of my favourite pokemon in a tournament. I’ve been lucky enough to use a few of my favourites in pre-releases (Crobat, Noivern-GX, Gengar, Ultra Necrozma-GX and now Metagross). If only Hitmonlee ever showed up in one.
Event #3 @ Brick’s Play (29th July)
The moment I saw Delcatty, I was praying for either Metagross or Swampert to show up next if not I could build my deck right away. Sadly neither one did show up so my deck on that Sunday was pretty much the same as the previous one but with an addition of Tropius to counter Swamperts.
Game 1: Lose vs Swampert/Registeel/Scizor-GX
Three heavy hitters in my opponent’s deck and I got zero heavy hitter. Quite one sided but I managed to drag that match to make it way closer than it had every right to be which was none.
Game 2: Lose vs Metagross/Cacturne
This time I was the one who decked out, forgetting I had no Tate & Liza in this deck so Delcatty was actually rather useless in this deck. Couldn’t do much about the psychic resistance my opponent had on me.
Game 3: Win vs Swampert/Kyogre
I beat my opponent in about 4 turns. All he had was a Kyogre and Mudkip and all I had was Swalot but it’s combo of moves killed the two of them off easily.
So there we go, the worst pre-release is done. So while everyone kept getting either Metagross or Swampert, I only had the Metagross line once and never got to try the Swampert line at all. I wish I could share my pulls but it really wasn’t much. Electrode GX, Scizor GX and Alolan Raticate GX from three events. Yup. On to the next one.
So the Singapore Special Event weekend is over at the Suntec Exhibition hall and I have to say I had a lot of fun this weekend, and it may have been my best weekend playing the game. My aim for the SPE was just to make sure I don’t have more losses and hopefully be in the top half. And it happened but better than I expected! So there was 3 events for me during the weekend:
- Project EXT Spring Season Top 16 Invitational on Friday
- Singapore Special Event on Saturday
- League Cup (best of 1 round) on Sunday
During the two weeks prior I had been testing both Ultra Necrozma/Malamar and Tapu Bulu/Vikavolt trying to see which would be the better choice for me and I can tell easily Ultra Necrozma was the better choice. So I went with it for Friday. I wasn’t expecting to make it out of the first round.
Knockout Round: vs Zoroark/Lycanroc LWW
First game I had nothing going on, couldn’t make a comeback. Second round I was leading when I made an honest mistake, took a prize penalty but thankfully I was able to finish off the game. Third game my opponent was stuck and I took it.
Quarter Final: vs Greninja BREAK WW
I was expecting to lose this one since I had no counter for Greninja decks in my deck. No Fighting Fury Belt or Giratina. But as per usual, my opponent bricked and both times I took it because he couldn’t get his set-up going.
Semi Final: vs Buzzwole/Lycanroc LL
Even with type advantage I fell for the trap of Buzzwole Jr, which punishes you if you have exactly 4 prizes. Both times he made me play the 4 prize game and both times I was sucked into it. It was a good match though.
And for finishing in the top 4, something I wasn’t expecting, I got myself a brand new playmat. Everyone else got the Top 16 playmat (which was a lot nicer) and 2 others had the Top 4 and the champion got the Champion’s playmat. Here’s the top 4 playmat.
And now for the Singapore Special Event, and I stuck with my original list that I had written on Wednesday. I did take out Beast Ring initially for Parallel City but changed it back last minute.
Round 1: vs Zygarde/Lycanroc LWL 0/1/0 – 0 points
I obviously knew of this deck having tested with the two guys who made it famous not just in our region but now all around the world (Rauf and Klive) so I knew this would be a tough match. And my opponent ended the day just outside the top 8 so I had one of the better guys right off the start. First game he killed my set-up. Second game he was stuck.
And then came the third game. My starting hand consisted an Inkay, two Sycamores and three Malamars. I was praying for a top draw N or Cynthia and guess what I got? A third Sycamore. I had to throw it all away to avoid a donk. I somehow managed to make a game out of it with no Malamars until 2 prizes to go but it was a little too late.
Round 2: vs Zoroark/Golisopod LL 0/2/0 – 0 points
And it gets even tougher, now my opponent was someone who did make it into the top 8 (top 4 in fact). His ZoroGoli deck was too good. Way too quick for me to handle even with he had a poor start in the first match. He still came back to win it. I couldn’t get the clean KO because of his Acerolas and his Golisopods kept taking out my Malamars. Good learning experience from one of the best in this region.
Round 3: vs Lunala/Malamar WW 1/2/0 – 3 points
And after two losses I finally got a match against a friend and I knew about her deck and thankfully my deck was much quicker to set-up. Her Lunala did cause some problems but Ultra Necrozma came to the rescue with the Beast Ring.
Round 4: vs Ultra Necrozma/Malamar LL 1/3/0 – 3 points
Now for a mirror match. This was all about who can get the set-up first and sadly both times my opponent got his set-up going first. The second game was much closer and I needed just one more turn to take the second round but my opponent got the Psychic Energy and Choice Band he needed to pick up the win. I was feeling good after the match, 3 losses in 4 matches, not what I hoped for coming into this event.
Round 5: vs Buzzwole/Lycanroc WW 2/3/0 – 6 points
FINALLY. After 4 games I finally got the BuzzLycan match I wanted. It was always going to be the most popular deck at the event and the best deck in the game. But I knew I could beat it. Both games were close but I managed to take it thanks to playing the number game. The new Buzzwole decks are using the non-GX attackers and so I decided to use my non-GX attackers, Latios, Mew and even Malamar itself. I put a Latios in my deck to counter both Buzzwoles and in this round it was my MVP.
Round 6: vs ??? W 3/3/0 – 9 points
My opponent never showed up so I got the win. I tested with my friend against his Metagross deck with Metal Frying Pan and I took it down just by powering up my Ultra Necrozma to have 3 psychic energies (sometimes even 4) for 260 damage (or 340).
Round 7: vs Necrozma/Malamar LWW 4/3/0 – 12 points
We had to wait till the next day for our final match in swiss round but it was worth it. A really close match between the two different Necrozma decks. My opponent took it the first game, I took it the second game and he had the slower start in 3rd round. It came down to an Inkay Hypnosis for him to stall one turn and win him the game. Luckily I flipped heads for the awakening and the win. Probably the best game of the 7 I played.
From being 1-3 after 4 rounds, I was super psyched that I got 3 wins in a row to turn it around to make it a 4-3 score. The first big Pokemon TCG tournament that I had more wins than losses and I did achieve my two goals, more wins than losses and top half of the table, 26th out of the 71 players. Good learning experience playing and meeting guys from around the region, from here in Singapore to players from Malaysia, Indonesia, Phillipines, Taiwan and even a top American player came down to get his points for the world championship. It was cool to meet Chris, he’s the guy that gave me hope in Metagross, a deck I used non-stop from August of last year for about 4 months.
Top 8 for the Singapore SPE:
1) Shane Chee – Zoroark/Lucario
2) Klive Aw – Zygarde/Lycanroc
3) Patrick Ebio – Zoroark/Golisopod
4) Clifton Goh – Buzzwole/Lycanroc
5) Colin Tang – Buzzwole/Lycanroc
6) Christopher Schemanske – Buzzwole/Lycanroc
7) Joey Ho – Greninja BREAK
8) Perry Lim – Greninja BREAK
Next up was the League Cup for those of us who didn’t make the top 8 cut for the Special Event. I was going to play a Solagaleo/Turtonator deck that my friend Rauf came up with but I didn’t get my Burning energy in time and my back-up plan was Trevenant/Malamar but I didn’t bring some of the cards I needed so next back-up was Tapu Bulu/Vikavolt. Sadly it doesn’t fare well in the current format but I had some fun matches.
R1: vs Buzzwole/Lycanroc L 0/1/0 – 0 points
R2: vs Buzzwole/Lycanroc L 0/2/0 – 0 points
R3: vs Latios/Garbodor W 1/2/0 – 3 points
R4: vs Glaceon/Ninetales W 2/2/0 – 6 points
R5: vs Leafeon/Decidueye L 2/3/0 – 6 points
R6: vs Ultra Necrozma/Malamar W 3/3/0 – 9 points
The only reason why I won my last match because my opponent couldn’t set-up his Malamar, the first one only came up when I had 4 prizes. I should have won my Round 2 match but my opponent N’ed me at the right time, I couldn’t comeback from that. Round 4 was my friend, who I played in the 3rd round in swiss round. We both played different decks both days.
So it was a fun weekend, top 4 finish on Friday, 26th out of 71 players on Saturday and 19th out of 41 players. Couldn’t have asked for a better weekend, I can feel I’m getting better at the game. Progress made, hopefully more to come.
You read it right, for once I didn’t just go to one pre-release, not my usual two events too, not even three events, but four pre-release events! Ok I was suckered into joining one earlier than planned but luckily that worked out, that was the best one in terms of pulls. But even with 4 events, this was the first set where I didn’t pull the pre-release promo I wanted, the Lucario promo. I did get it from a trade with someone at the last event but it sucks that I never did pull it myself.
I still had fun in all four of my events, and I managed to make different decks everytime even thought for the first three I got the Magnezone and Heatrans in either my evolution packs or my kit packs. Also I managed to spread out my dates where I’d visit 3 shops for the 4 dates, two of which were firsts for me when it comes to pre-releases. The first two ones were at Qisahn, the third one at Project ext and the last at Bricks Play (just 3 minutes away from my place), all nearby me. Yup, chose my spots according to those closest to me, why the heck not.
So the first deck idea was to use Heatran as the attacker and Magnezone as the supplier. Shaymin was there to set things up and because I pulled a Looker, Looker Whistle and Oranguru, I had to try to recycling tactic and it worked only a few times. Dialga’s GX, as amazing as it is, wasn’t that helpful all that much in all honesty. I’d say this was easily the worst of the 4 decks I built.
Pre-Release SM5 Event 1 @ Qisahn:
Round 1: vs Empoleon/Garchomp LOSE
Was depending on my Dialga so much in this match I forgot GXes still gave up two prizes so I was caught out by the Garchomp/Cynthia combo from my friend.
Round 2: vs Magnezone/SolgaleoPrismStar LOSE
I dead-drew the whole time, just couldn’t get anything going. Didn’t realise Solgaleo Prism Star’s first move allowed you to attach your energy however you liked, that’s a really good attack.
Round 3: vs Magnezone/Heatran WIN
Hey look a mirror match! I almost lost this game too but luckily Dialga saved me. The combo of Oranguru/Looker helped out big time here.
Round 4: vs Garchomp/Gumshoos WIN
The combo of Oranguru (again) and my Magnezone actually helped me to the win here, opponent couldn’t get out of confusion.
2 wins and 2 loses in the first event, not like me to do this badly in a pre-release. 12th out of 16th, not usual for me in a pre-release setting. But the pulls from my prize packs sure made up for the bad results! 2-2 for me.
The second deck was similiar to the first, Heatran with Magnezone but this time with the Garchomp line to give me a second strong attacker. The Cynthia-Garchomp combo is amazing, I will try to build that deck for real. Magnezone once again helped me out alot in my matches.
Pre-Release SM5 Event 2 @ Qisahn:
Round 1: vs Garchomp/Gumshoos WIN
Heatran donked my opponent in Turn 2. Got the Kukui out and knocked out Gible.
Round 2: vs Garchomp/Lucario LOSE
Very tough match, my opponent got the Lucario up in Turn 2 and then Garchomp in Turn 3 and that was it for me really. The combo was working so well even for a pre-release.
Round 3: vs Garchomp/Gumshoos WIN
Luckily for me I got my Garchomp set up first to knock out her Garchomp and she had no-one else set-up to counter my team.
Round 4: vs Garchomp/Empoleon WIN
My opponent dead drew so I took advantage of it, Heatran once again with the early pressure for the win.
The combo of Garchomp and Heatran worked nicely for me. As long as I had Magnezone up, everything would be fine. And both could get quick KOs with how their attacks are. And yes I really did play against four Garchomp decks that deck. 9th out of 27th, that’s a bit better but still not up there. 3-1 for me.
The third deck was….yup you guessed it, Heatran with Magnezone yet again but this time I got the Gumshoos promo and I knew how good it was against me so I had to try it out. Also gave the Electirive line a try knowing there’ll be lots of Metals but I never did make use of them.
Pre-Release SM5 Event 3 @ Project EXT:
Round 1: vs Garchomp/Gumshoos/Dialga WIN
Gumshoos on fire here. Takes out two Gibles and then Dialga for a rather quick win, even though I picked up all four prizes.
Round 2: vs Electirive/Heatran LOSE
I had no set-up for this one, just waiting on my Electirive to show up but it never did so my opponent killed me off.
Round 3: vs Garchomp/Gumshoos WIN
Once again I’m paried up with my friend Shan. We tend to always play against one another in pre-releases or even the usual weekly leagues. I knew she had a Magmar in her deck so I tried not to use Heatran. Gumshoos once again gave me the easy win, she couldn’t set up.
Round 4: vs Garchomp/Empoleon WIN
This time it was Heatran who was wrecking house for me, picking up the early KOs for the win.
This deck actually worked really nicely. Both Gumshoos and Heatran could easily take early KOs with their two energy attacks and that’s even before Magenzone shows up. The guy I lost too, we played some friendly games and yup I beat him so my deck was alright for today. Didn’t see where I finished but I believe it was 8th of around 26 to 30 players. 3-1 for me, again.
The fouth deck was different to the rest, no Magnezone or Heatran for once! It was a straight Gumshoos-Garchomp deck with a secret Magmar tech to counter the Metal types. Never really did use it because I faced two Empoleon decks haha. But that deck did run very smoothly, and for once I pulled a lot of trainers so I had to trim those down.
Pre-Release SM5 Event 4 @ Brick’s Play:
Round 1: vs Electirive/Gumshoos WIN
Got my Garchomp out quickly and my opponent couldn’t handle it, quick win.
Round 2: vs Empoleon/Magnezone LOSE
Now here’s the story. Before the tourney started, I tested with my friend Rauf just to see how our decks would work and I managed to beat him. So I thought this would go my way. It didn’t. His Empoleon killed me and not because of the first attack, I knew about it so I purposely didn’t bench more pokemon but the second attack wrecked me because of the discarding of energy cards. Of course we played a few more friendly games and I won all of them. Can’t win when I needed too huh?
Round 3: vs Gumshoos/Magnezone/Electirive WIN
Garchomp once again the MVP in this match, got it out in Turn 2 and a well timed Cynthia won me the game.
That new Garchomp is nasty good, confirms my hopes that it will be good and I do hope to make it work in my tourneys. Unfortunately the prof showed up and changed our schedule to a 3-round event which sucked because it’s a pre-release, we should play at least 4 games, as was advertised.
His reasons was for the lack of packs which I didn’t see was a big issue anywhere else. I ended up 6th out of 18 players, my highest placing of the four events but no unbeaten run for me this time. 2-1 for me. So out of the four events I went to, I played in 15 matches, won 10 of them and lost the other 5. Not bad I’d say.
As for the pulls, I thought I used up my luck in my first pre-release, I ended up getting 4 GXes, one full art trainer and a prism star card. I couldn’t ask for more. So the next one I only did get one GX, but it was Leafon so I’m cool with that. The third one was the first time in any pre-release that I didn’t pull one ultra rare card.
I thought it was going to be the same for the fourth one until my last pack, I got the full art Cynthia that everyone wants. Hehe whoops. Also during that pre-release in Brick’s Play, two guys pulled the Gold Solgaleo GX and Lunala GX seconds off each other!
Those are the two rarest in the set yet they were both pulled in the same event! What are the odds? Here’s what I pulled from the four events.
Ultra Prism will be an amazing set, I’m sure of it. Lots of good cards coming out of it, and the actual set will be out in a few hours time! Time to get cracking into the new packs. Here’s all the pre-release promos I pulled from the six sets I’ve been too. Yup, the first one I didn’t get the promo I wanted. It was bound to happen but kinda weird it happened in the one I went to the most.
I’ve always said pre-release is my favourite event for Pokemon TCG. Not just about the pulls but for the fun of playing decks you normally won’t play, testing your deck building skills and of course, make new friends, see your mates and have a good time overall. Why else would I go to FOUR pre-releases when some guys wpuld tell me it’s a waste of time going to more than one. It’s clearly not. 🙂
We just had another League Cup over the weekend and this was my 2nd one I’ve entered, but unlike the first one, I wasn’t all that prepared for this one. I mean I did just come back from a 2-week break in Japan (yes I bought some Japanese cards too). Before I flew off, I had just started testing out Vikavolt-Tapu Bulu deck.
I’ve seen my friend do so well with it for a long time and I had the cards for it, so I thought I might as well give it a try. Especially since Golisopod, Zoroark and especially Buzzwole can be one-hit KOed by Tapu Bulu. I thought it was a good choice for the current format. I had a warm-up run for the deck in my weekly tournament and I finished 3rd so I felt good about my chances.
The first game ended really quickly, I had all the pieces for a one-hit KO by Turn 2 and my opponent drew nothing. My second match was rubbish, I dead drew this time. The third match was much better but Buzzwole being a bitch, took out my support in the bench so I had no answer the moment a second one was ready.
Round 2: vs Zoroark/Lycanroc LWL – 0 points
Really tough match against the guy who ended up finish 2nd in the tournament. I couldn’t set up my Vikavolt in the first game. The second match I got it up within turn 2 and Bulu wrecked house. Once again the third game was evenly matched but then Lycanrocs showed up and ruined my game.
Yup I was the lucky one to get the free win after 2 losses. Not the way I wanted to get my win since my aim was to get at least one win after the really lousy first League Cup I had.
Round 4: vs Zoroark/Golisopod WLW – 6 points
Oh crap I’m playing a world’s player again so I was a bit nervous the whole time during that match. I was too slow in the second match but the first and third went the way I wanted it to go, Vikavolt up in turn 2 and Bulu knocking out the competition. A combination of Energy Recycler, two Vikavolts charging up Bulu and a Skyla for Choice Band for the win in the first game. An Instruct draw to get that Choice Band I was looking for was enough to get my that win in the 3rd game, both time knocking out Zoroark. So now I’m 2-0 in my two matches against a guy who finished 14th in the World’s championship last year.
I was feeling good going into this match because I was playing my good friend and before I flew off, I was testing this deck against the same deck he was using as he was in this LC. And I won all four of my matches. Only difference was I was using Octillery and not Oranguru as my draw support during those matches. The first match went as I hoped. The second I didn’t get what I needed. The third was brutal. My Grubbins and Vikavolts were targeted the whole time. I was just one Grass Energy away from winning but it never came.
Round 6: vs Vikavolt/Tapu Bulu LWL – 6 points
After all these matches, I finally get a mirror match while I was my opponent’s 3rd mirror match. In the first two matches it was a matter of who got the first knockout that ended up getting the win, winning in the prize exchange. The third match was brutal, my Grubbins were targeted right off the bat and all 3 of them were KOed back to back to back. I had no chance in that one.
So I ended up with 2 wins which is a good improvement for me but also 4 losses is worse than the last one. 6 points, the same points as the first League Cup. Even though I finished 33rd, I felt I did worse than I really should have. All 5 of my matches were equally matched so I was happy about that. I thought I could have won 4 of those match-up so there was some potential for improvement. Start from the bottom and slowly work my way up yeah? Hopefully it won’t be long before I can see my name on the first page, or the top 16, or top 8.
The time has come, my first real test as a Pokemon TCG player, a League Cup. Yes ok I have been to our local league challenges before with rubbish deck but this would be my first as a proper player and also my first actual League Cup with championship points up for grabs. Not that I’m in it for that since I’m not aiming for Worlds for the next 2 years.
Before the weekend, I had been testing out 2 different decks, Golisopod/Zoroark and Gardevoir/Zoroark. I knew whichever deck it was, I wanted to make use of the new Zoroark GX because it’s too good but on which deck. My choice was made even harder when another Golisopod/Zoroark deck won the London Internationals (completely different apporach to mine) which meant everyone will try to counter it. Not good news for me.
I had planned to play the Golisopod version on Saturday for the League Challenge and Gardevoir on Sunday for League Cup. On Friday night I changed my mind many times, first going with Gardevoir before switching back to Golisopod. Now thinking back, I probably should have gone with Gardevoir for Saturday after all.
League Cup didn’t go really well for me. My Golisopod/Zoroark deck was way different to the one Tord Reklev had (which means everyone else too since a lot of people here just like to copy whoever is doing well and not coming up with their own ideas). For mine, Golisopod-GX was the main attacker with Zoroark-GX as the back-up and I even added Necrozma-GX as a secret sweeper.
First match my opponent had me good. His 3 Guzmas were used to good effect. Second match it was equally matched, I used Ninja Boy on my Tapu Lele which had 3 energies on it to get Necrozma-GX out and hit Black Ray GX to pick up 4 prizes in one shot. We had no time to finish game 3 which was also equally matched. Probably my best game of the whole tourney, everything went downhill from here.
R2 vs Decidueye-GX/Zoroark-GX – LL (0/1/1) – 1 point
Both games I started with Tapu Lele so my set-up was compromised and I never recovered from it. I got too nervous and misplayed a lot. My opponent was too quick in both games to set-up his Decidueyes. He would end up finishing 1st out of 67 masters, can’t say I’m surprised with how smoothly his deck worked.
R3 vs Gardevoir-GX/Max Potion – LL (0/2/1) – 1 point
Yup the so called broken Gardevoir deck showed up here too. Again I got nervous and misplayed both games. First one I took out the wrong target. Second one I took a Zorua and not a Wimpod out during my Brigette move when I had two Golisopod-GXes in my hand.
R4 vs Drampa-GX/Garbodor – LWT (0/2/2) – 2 points
So by this point with no wins out of 3 points, I was just staying on to gain the experience of playing against guys who were serious players, some of them coming from Malaysia or Indonesia to win points here while some of my friends left. Yes Garb is still a thing apparently. I made the mistake in not realising it was Drampa when I did flying flip. Played it safe in Game 2 by just attacking Drampa the whole time. Not enough time to finish game 3, my stall tactic of switching my pokemon around saved me from another loss.
R5 vs Darkrai-EX/Darkrai-GX – LWT (0/2/3) – 3 points
Let’s just say I was surprised to see Darkrai. The first match I made the mistake of trying to attack with Necrozma and pick up 6 prizes in one shot, didn’t work. Didn’t notice my opponent was set-up very quickly and took easy KOs. I won game 2 on the last turn after time was called with Crossing Cut gx. I will say my opponent was playing unnecessarily slow which really irked me.
R6 vs Gardevoir/Sylveon – LL (0/3/3) – 3 points
The deck I’ve been testing against the most for the last 2 weeks so I knew what I could do against it. But of course both my games went horribly. And I had just beaten this same opponent the day before with the same deck! Game 1 my opponent was quicker to set-up. Game 2 was horrible. ALL 3 of my Golisopods were prized so I could only rely on my Necrozma and Zoroark BREAK. Both were knocked out with little effort so I scooped that round.
R7 vs Gardevoir/Sylveon – WW (1/3/3) – 6 points
Finally a win! This time I got lucky. My opponent couldn’t set-up in the first game. In the second one I was quicker to set-up and beat him to the punch in the prize race.
Even though I only finished with 1 win out of 7 matches, I did learn a lot from all of my matches, stuff I wouldn’t notice if I were to play in my local friendly weekly tournaments as I was playing against some of the best players in South East Asia. 44th out of 67 masters is nothing to brag about but I suppose it’s a start.
- Game 1 – Keep track of what resources my opponents have used
- Game 2 – Don’t get flusterd by a bad start. Keep calm, work around it
- Game 3 – Aim for the right target, keep track of what I have in my hand
- Game 4 – Play around my opponent’s strategy
- Game 5 – Don’t act smart and try a risky play. Don’t give opponent easy prizes
- Game 6 – Find more ways/add more cards to have outs from a bad start. Check to see what is prized.
With all that, I decided to give the League Cup a try with a completely new version of my Gardevoir deck, and hopefully play a better game than I did the day before. I had originally paired it with Slyveon and Octillery but I liked the idea of using Zoroark better so I gave that a try. I stayed up till 2 to build the deck from scratch. I was toying around the idea of including Puzzle of Time but at the last minute I switched it out for Evosoda and a few additional cards to make my deck more consistent. Unlike the previous day where I didn’t really know all of my opponents, this time I knew all 5 of my opponents. And 5 different decks too unlike the day prior.
Yes I’m already doing better in my first match than I did after 4 rounds yesterday. I knew about my friend’s Raichu deck as I was helping him out filling out his deck. Gallade was the MVP in the match because of Raichu’s weakness to it. The second game his field was set-up quickly and I only had one Gardevoir out, it wasn’t enough. Next game I had two of them ready and they cleaned house. I quickly realized in this match how powerful the combo of Premonition & Trade abilities of Gallade and Zoroark-GX can really be.
R2 vs Greninja – LL (1/1/0) – 3 points
Yup it’s the dang Ninja. I’ve played my opponent many times before, our match last month decided who would make top cut in a mini win-a-box tourney and in that one I messed up my trade ability and cost myself a win and 3rd place. This one, I couldn’t do much. My friend got his Greninja’s break set-up really quick in both games. I tried to knock out his Staryu both times but it came back both times haha. I tried my best to drain him out with my 2 Max Potions but it wasn’t enough. I would say it’s my best match against a Greninja deck, I’d easily lose to it most of the time.
R3 vs Weavile/Zoroark-GX – LWW (2/1/0) – 6 points
Fun fact, I was toying around the idea of playing a Weavile/Golisopod deck for this tourney but I went against it. So of course I ended up playing a Weavile deck. I fell for it’s trap in the first game so I played a slow and safe game in the next two games and it worked nicely. Gallade again was the saviour and even Zoroark helped me get some big KOs. The match was actually going to be a tie but my friend decided to give me the win since he already has gotten his points from the day before. Thanks boss!
R4 vs Volcanion-EX – ID (2/1/1) – 7 points
So me and my friend didn’t play this match out because we both realised with a draw, one of us had a very real possibility of finish 3rd or even 2nd if results went our way in Round 4. I was alright with the intentional draw, I’ve never beaten his Volcanion deck even with Gardevoir.
R5 vs Gardevoir-GX/Zoroark-GX – WLW (3/1/1) – 10 points
I was abit nervous of who my opponent could be, I had worked out that it may have been one of two guys, both really good. It wasn’t either one of them, it was someone I was not even expecting to play against because there’s just no way it should happen. It was Metagame’s owner Joey who I’d usually see from time to time at his store and get my stuff from him. Yes, the same Joey who finished 14th at Worlds this year. Holy crap I’m playing against not just one of the best players in Singapore but in the whole world too! Worlds top 16 player vs…well little old me!
Yup the final match of the weekend, after many tiring hours, was to be in a proper mirror match. The exact same attackers with similar strategies. Gardevoir and Zoroark vs Gardevoir and Zoroark. I’ve already seen how good he’s done with this deck before and I will admit my choice of Zoroark with Gardevoir was somewhat inspired by him with a few additions of my own. First match was equally matched and I just beat him in the prize race. I stopped his Zoroark with Gallade which turned the tide my way. Second match again was equally matched but he got the better of me. He had two Gardevoirs set-up against my single Gardevoir. Check-mate, he got me there.
I was really nervous about the third game, so much so my cards fell from my hands just from shuffling it haha! Third game was just as equally matched as the other two, Gallade helped me again. My Zoroark was killed off my his Gallade, which got my Gardevoir to kill it off, which got his Gardevoir to kill mine off. He played Sycamore in the hopes to get the 2nd one ready and lucky for me he never drew into it.
I used Premonition in the hopes of finding one Fairy Energy and DCE for the win and luckly for me the DCE for the 5th card, I put them up as the first two, used trade, put it on Gardevoir with a choice bad for the win. Oh man I just beat a Worlds top 16 player. Easily my best match in Pokemon TCG so far.
That win put me 6th out of 21 players. Not as many as the other time but hey that’s still pretty good for a newbie like me in a competitive environment. Really enjoyed the 2 days of playing, learned a lot from all these guys and hopefully it’s the start of something good. 12 games and I ended up with 4 wins, 4 losses and 4 draws. Very consistent eh haha! And hey, whenever it’s about Pokemon, TCG or the video game, it’ll always be fun. 🙂
So for those wondering who did well for the League Cup, these were the top 8 decks:
- Gardevoir-GX/Max Potion
- Decidueye-GX/Zoroark-GX/Alolan Ninetales-GX
And for the League Challenge thesse were the top 8 decks:
So for a noob like myself in the art of Pokemon Trading Card Game, I actually managed to finish 3rd and 4th in a field of 21 and 23 players within the space of 5 days! Yes, me doing so well at a PTCG tourney? My luck must be turning around.
So the first one was my usual Friday tourney, and it was the biggest tournout yet at my usual spot in Qisahn. 21 players! Usually I’d see 8-12 players but now more is coming so that’s always good news, nice to see the community growing. With fire types owning at other places, I stopped using my Metagross-GX deck and started playing the Gardevoir-GX deck. Yes, the same one that won worlds this year. Why? Not because I follow the trend but I got that GX the most of any in SM3 so why not?
And it’s a deck about numbers, you’re always calculating your potential damage (kinda reminds me of my old Yveltal-EX deck). And I am a numbers guys so I had to try it. I’d been trying a few different variations out but it seems to me the Sylveon version is much better so I’ve stuck to that for a few weeks. Plea GX can help you beat your one un-winnable match in Metagross/Solgaelo matches.
R1 vs Volcanion/Turtonator WL – 0/0/1
This was a tough one. I misplayed a lot in he first match and my opponent still scooped the match because he realized he was out of options. Second match was worse, I couldn’t set up my team properly and his Volcanions wrecked me. The third match was going alright for me but time was called.
Usually I’d do a gentlemen’s agreement with my opponent to flip a coin to decide who wins since no-one will get an extra pack for drawing. My opponent didn’t want it so we took a draw. My first draw ever at a Qisahn event. Not cool. All my friends were surprised about it because our prizes are based on wins not points so there’s no point taking a draw but some people don’t see the point of it I suppose. Turns out he drew his next match too so maybe he was just there to ruin our games. Not cool.
R2 vs Gardevoir/Sylveon WLW – 1/0/1
Yup a mirror match. So this matches took a lot of thinking on both our parts. It was very even in all three matches but luckily I scraped through on the match that mattered most, the final one. He was about to knock my Sylveon out but Acerola came to the rescue and Gardevoir took it’s mirror out. That got me the advantage and the win.
R3 vs Tapu Bulu/Vikavolt WW – 2/0/1
This match wasn’t really fair. Both times my opponent failed to set up his team and a Vikabulu deck needs to set-up to do well. The first match he never got a Grubbin out so easy win for me. The second match he did get them out but I took two of them out thanks to Guzma.
3rd place finish out of 21 players, my best finish in a tournament of that size. Not bad at all. 2 wins and one draw gave me 7 points and also the only other person to go undefeated along with the two guys who won all 3 matches. We had some interesting decks that day, finally got to see Raichu in action but it didn’t do so well. Gardevoir and Ho-Oh decks were the most common ones with 4 a piece yet the outright winner was a Metagross deck, and the only one there too haha! Didn’t pull anything good in my 2 prize packs, oh what a bummer.
The next one was a Diwali special tournament and since it was a public holiday a lot more guys showed up. 23 players! And I knew 6 others who couldn’t make it so it could have been even more. Progress being made here at the store, that’s nice to see. I stuck with Gardevoir but tried a different list this time, similar to Pablo Meza’s list in which he won the Vancouver regionals (I think) the past weekend. Out when the Mallows and Rescue Stretchers and in came the Float Stones and a few more cards to add to the consistency of the deck. And I can say the deck felt that bit better after the changes but still needs some changes. That’s the best part about this game, even if you have a great list, you still want to make some changes. All part of the fun of this game.
R1 vs Volcanion/Turtonator WW 1/0/0
Yup, starting off with another Volcanion/Turtonator match up again. I had played this guy before and he beat me so I wasn’t feeling too good about this match. Turns out everything went my way. Everytime he tried to set someone up, I had a counter for it. And in one of the matches, I had 3 Gardevoirs set-up in turn 4. Never had a set-up as good as that before. So that was good really good wins for me. Pretty stoked about that.
R2 vs Ninetales/Zoroark WW 2/0/0
So my opponent is someone I know quite well, he’s one of the regulars in our place so I knew what his deck was about, now with the added bonus of Zoroark-GX to help set up Ninetales-GX quicker. First match I had to take some risks in knocking out some prize attackers and it helped. Managed to get a one-hit KO on a Ninetales for the win. Second match wasn’t going my way until Gallade showed up and knocked out his Zoroark. The end of the match was tense. Either I had get a super draw to one-hit his 210HP Ninetales or I get knocked out. And with Octillery’s Abyssal Hand ability, I could draw cards until I had 5 in my hand. I needed to draw 3. Perfect secernario would be a Fairy Energy, a Double Colorless Energy and a Choice Band to knock Ninetales out. And that’s what I got from my draw! Luck of the draw I suppose. That was another really good match.
R3 vs Decidueye/Espeon LL 2/1/0
And now for the bragging right of who would probably win the whole thing (we thought). I was up against my friend in the final and I tend to playtest with him and a few others in Orchard every other week so I knew what his deck’s plan was. Spred the damage with Decidueye and kill everyone off with Espeon. So I wasn’t too dissapointed to start with Tapu Lele for once! My plan was to make sure he couldn’t snipe anyone but he saw it coming and started attacking my Lele so I fell for his trap and set my team up..for disaster.
Second match was just me throwing the result away in turn 2. When I went to do my Brigette start, I had planned to take a Ralts, Remomraid and an Eevee. For whatever reason I took a second Ralts and I only realised my mistake once I had played them. I could have asked my opponent for a re-do but since we’re in a tournament setting, I didn’t dare ask. And I had a Guzma in hand to help my Sylveon start off. So I never got going in that second match.
2 wins and 1 loss and I still ended up 4th, best results of those with 2 wins. This time around Ninetales was the most popular deck followed by Gardevoir. But I was the only Gardevoir player in the top 9. The rest? Three Vikabulus (and all three of them in the top 9, two with 3 wins), two Ninetales, a Metagross, a Volcanion and a Decidueye. So I am starting to get better at this game, maybe it’s time I should challenge myself and try the next tournament at Metagame where all the best players in Singapore usually play. I’ve not been there in a while because I never felt comfortable playing against those guys. I should change that soon. Didn’t pull anything good in my 2 prize packs again, oh what a bummer.
Still it was a fun week of playing Pokemon TCG, 4 wins out of 6 matches is quite unheard for me since I still don’t feel I’m that good at the game yet but progress is being made. A 3rd and a 4th placing, not too bad at all. Still need to make that climb up to get 2nd and eventually 1st someday soon. Slowly but surely. And tomorrow, it’s my favourite event for Pokemon, the pre-release! Yes, Crimson Invasion pre-release is tomorrow at Qisahn which means we’ll be the first in Singapore to get to play the new SM4 cards. That’s pretty cool. Time for a break in the serious stuff and two weeks of fun battles to come. And also a battle against my sickness too. Why do I always fall sick during holidays?
Oh and I won a Litten plushie in one of the lucky draw prizes!
It’s that time again, pre-release for the next pokemon set is here. This one was a little different as first of all, those of us here in Singapore had to wait 2 weeks longer than the rest of the world to have our pre-release events which sucks (and also means it was more a “post”-release since the set was already released the day before). The other reason? Well I’m going for two pre-release events for the first time so that should be double the fun. As it turned out, it sure was.
And I notice I never did do a post about the previous pre-release for Guardians Rising but that was a fun one too. I was in the middle of my exam period so I didn’t really have much time for Pokemon cards at that time. I did have fun playing the Vanilliuxe and Honchkrow deck, I think I won 2 out of my 3 matches with it and I got a Mallow full art in my kit.
The first pre-release was at Metagame, my second time there for a pre-release and the main place for the top players in Singapore to go to. The main promo card I was hoping to get was Seviper just because it’s a snake and I like snakes so I have to stick with my snakes. And for the 4th pre-release tourney in a row, I got who I wanted! Seviper! Woohoo! Better still, in my pre-release kit, I pulled a rainbow rare Noivern GX! One of the GX I wanted, great start to this pre-release already.
The focus of my deck was not the Noivern GX or the Toxicroak but instead little ol’ Meowstic. It’s second move looked too fun to pass up the chance of trying it out since it was a pre-release and you’re bound to have a lot of cards in your hand.
Meowstic’s second move does 10 damage times the number of cards in your hand and that helped me out a number of times in the first pre-release. Toxicroak was there to provide backup with Seviper to help it out and of course Alolan Raticate because I did pull one tool card to make it’s free attack go from 10 to 60 damage. And well I had to put Noivern GX in since I was playing psychic and dark types and that’s what Noivern uses. Fun fact, a Noivern deck was the first deck I used when I got back into playing pokemon card. Yup, I’m loyal to it.
My first opponent is probably the person I played against the most since I got back into the game. It’s like we’re always bound to meet each other, be it our friendly weekly tourneys or pre-release events. She had a Toxicroak/Vileplume deck, so even though we both pulled the Seviper promo, we had different 2nd typings. I had the dark ones, she got the grass ones. I had the perfect hand to start the game off, Croagunk and Toxicroak so all I needed to do was set them up and the rest was set. Even her Wobbuffet had no answer to my Toxicroak. Luckily for me, she never got her Toxicroak so I ended up getting the win in about 5 minutes. After round one, score is 1-0.
And of course as fate would have it, my next opponent was also a good friend of mine. First I played against the girlfriend, now I’m up against her boyfriend haha. My boss had a much different deck, Crabbominable and Marshadow GX. And of course, he started with his GX car and who did I get? Two Ratattas and one Espurr. Of course I had to get a dark type when I’m playing the psychic type. I never stood a chance in this match. In about 5 minutes or so he won. After round two, score is 1-1.
And for the final round, it was a unfamiliar face, never met this opponent before but he had the same deck my friend had in the first round, Toxicroak/Vileplume. This was a trickier match as I did not get who I wanted initially. Finally after a while I got the Meowstic I needed. My Crogunk was posioned and I used my first Acerola to pull it back before getting knocked out.
That worked really nicely as my hand size went up to six, which meant it knocked out my opponent’s Meowth. Meowstic paralyzed by a second Meowth when my second Acerola showed up to save me, taking out Mewostic and in came Alolan Raticate, with a Weakness Policy attached to make it’s free attack higher, to knock out Meowth for the win.
End of the tourney and I had a 2-1 score, and I finished 5th out of 21 people. Woohoo, my first top 5 finish. And better still, one of my prize packs ended up having a Gardevoir GX in it, and the full art version too. Of course everyone was asking me if I was selling it but nope. I’m keeping this one. It is after all the “Tapu Lele” of this new set.
And now for my second pre-release. Yes, I’m going to two of them for the first time, so double the fun I hope. I already had so much fun in the first one anyway. This one was at Qisahn where I usually go to for a friendly tourney every Friday night (because it’s closer to my place). This time I wanted either Crabominable or Zygarde as I already had my Seviper the day before and I don’t really want Bewear. And so the streak continues again, I got who I wanted, Crabominable.
But looking at the cards I got along with what I pulled from my 4 packs, I wasn’t sure if I’d do well in this one. For starters, no GX in this deck because the one GX I pulled was Gardevoir (yes, again!) and I only had the one Ralts to work with so that was a no go. In the end I went for an almost full fighting type deck with Rhyperior and the promo Crabominable being my main two attackers. And lucky me I had two Meowstic to continue what I did yesterday and because Meowstic doesn’t really need psychic type, that suited the deck nicely. Also added in a Rimbombee line just in case I didn’t get my energies (which I did and in one match, a bit too much of it).
The good thing about this one was that there were 4 rounds so more fun for us to play with our pre-release decks. All 4 of my opponents were new to me, all friendly so that’s good. The first one was a kid, yup all different ages here. He had a Toxicroak/Meowstic deck which is what I used yesterday so I knew what was coming. Luckily for me things worked my way, my opponent struggled to get energy in within 4 turns, I got my 4 energies on Rhyperior and knocked 4 of his pokemon out with it’s 170 damage move in the next 4 turns. End of round 1, score is 1-0.
Second match was a mirror match, my opponent was also using the Rhyperior/Crabominable deck but this one was a bit one-sided. I drew Crabrawler and Crabominable in my starting hand so if everything went well I had this in the bad. Less than 100 seconds later I had already won the match. Crabominable knocked his 2 basics (Crabrawler and Rhyhorn) in consecutive turns. Possibly my fastest match ever. Crabominable’s first move needs just the one fighting energy but does 80 damage. Way too dangerous. End of round 2, score is 2-0.
Third match was against a Zygarde/Alolan Raticate deck and well this one really didn’t go my way. I had too many energy cards in my starting hand and just Rhyhorn to defend myself. Worst still, he got his Alolan Raticate a Weakness Policy up straight away so no advantage for me. I had no chance with Zygarde also powered up since Raticate didn’t need energies after all. Another short match but this time I loss. We played a friendly game afterwards and of course that one I won. Just my luck haha. End of round 2, score is 2-1.
The final round and once again it was up against a Zygarde/Alolan Raticate deck but this one was much better for me. For starters my opponent had no Weakness Policy on Raticate. Problem was, I had no Rhydon or Crabominable to take advantage of it but Meowstic saved the day (for the second day running) with it’s second move and because my hand was big enough, I got some big damage of his Raticate and Hoothoot for the win. End of the final round, score is 3-1.
So unlike yesterday, I got 5 packs this time. But the pulls weren’t as good as yesterday. Just two holos to show for, Raichu and of course, I got Rhyperior after doing so well with it today. Still I can’t complain, I got some good stuff from the 17 packs I opened up in the two days of pre-release events. And for the second day running, I was in the top 5, this time I was 4th out of 30 players so there’s an improvement, that’s my best result in a tourney so far. And I did it with no GXes in my deck in this one.
Hopefully in the next pre-release, I can go one better and try to do one pre-release tourney undefeated. I gotta start with small aims before I try for big the actual competitive tournaments. Another awesome pre-release week done, my fourth series and it was probably the most fun one I’ve done so far. These pre-release are my favourite events, everyone has to make decks on the spot and it tests your deck building skills. And it sure is nice to play something different and not the usual standard stuff since it is for the fun of playing the game after all. And it’s nice to see that four different places were hosting pre-releases that week, that is awesome to see the community growing even bigger here. Can’t wait for the next pre-release for Crimson Invasion in October…without any delays this time I hope.
Oh and after the pre-release, me and my friends (two of them I played against in the other pre-release) stayed back to play this new game of Monopoly Gamers. Really interesting game, I might want to get it but apparently it’s hard to get. Never thought I’d see Mario in Monopoly haha!