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Tsuguyoshi Yamato

No.006 Yamato’s PTCG Life 2002

“Yamato’s PTCG Life”. This will be my 2nd article about the latter 2002

02/16/2015 by Tsuguyoshi Yamato

Hello again readers!


This is Yamato from Team Torchic, writing my 6th article in the series: “Yamato’s PTCG Life”. This will be my 2nd article about the second half of 2002, discussing the Japanese Championships. Considering I already wrote about the format at the time and the deck I would play in my last article, I will use this article to elaborate on the actual tournament.

Before I will start with my tournament report, I would like to give you some background information on last year’s season. I made it to Worlds that year, but looking back at it, I was not able to dedicate the same amount of time to Pokémon as I usually do. I was incredibly busy in the period leading up to Worlds, which meant I could only meet up once with my teammates and practice for the tournament.

Some of you may ask themselves: “Why is Yamato so busy?”. The reason is that my son was born in March that year (and he is my first child!), so I was incredibly busy with baby-sitting and helping my wife with chores. However, having been a World Champion, I would like to introduce my son to this fantastic game and will work hard to become a World Champion again!

Now let’s go back to the actual topic of the article, the Japanese Championships. This is a very special tournament for me, during these tournaments I met my teammates, who shaped me into the person I am today. I would not have been the same person I am today if it was not for the Japanese Championships.

The tournament was held in round Robin, there were 8 rounds since there were 9 players in total. As you may remember from my last article, I used my original deck: Ninetales (Expeditions)/ Typhlosion (Expeditions). The decks played at the tournament were the following:

Some of the more attentive readers may wonder why there is another player with a Ninetales (Expeditions) / Typhlosion (Expeditions) deck. In my previous article I claimed that I personally invented this deck, however looking back at the tournament, I realised another competitor played the same deck. I must admit my memory may have fooled me and I did not originally come up with this deck after all. Anyways let’s look at the match-ups of that day!

Round 1: Typhlosion (Expeditions) / Ninetales (Expeditions) Won 

In this mirror match, I didn’t use Typhlosion (Expeditions) a lot, considering there are not that many Energy cards in play. However, it was important to drop an energy every single turn and attack with Ninetales (Expeditions). This set-up was not very difficult to achieve as I played 4 Town Volunteers (Aquapolis). Unfortunately, I did not have enough time to practice the mirror match, however I knew my deck inside-out and was able to win this match-up by using my skills and played the deck well.


Round 2: Alakazam (Expeditions) / Furret Lost 

When considering the possible meta-game for the Japanese Championships Alakazam (Expeditions) / Furret did not cross my mind once. Therefore I couldn’t predict the play of my opponent, this resulted in a bunch of mistakes on my part. I still remember vividly the moment he KO’d my Ninetales (Expeditions), with 2 energies on it, with his Alakazam’s (Expeditons) Syncroblast. [Psychic][Colorless][Colorless] Syncroblast 80.

Now, I know that if Alakazam and the Defending Pokémon don’t have the same number of Energy cards attached to them, this attack's only does 20 damage instead of 80. 

Syncroblast can hit for 80 damage, but only if Alakazam (Expeditions) has the same number of Energy Cards attached to it as the number of energy cards attached to the Defending Pokemon, however this can be regulated with the help of attaching “Boost Energy” (Aquapolis). Boost Energy can be attached only to an Evolved Pokémon. Discard Boost Energy at the end of the turn.


Boost Energy provides [Colorless][Colorless][Colorless] Energy. The Pokémon, to which the Boost Energy is attached, can't retreat. If the Pokémon, to which the Boost Energy is attached, isn't an Evolved Pokémon, discard Boost Energy. 

Alakazam (Expeditions) used Syncroblast and had same number of Energy Cards attached to it as my Ninetales (Expeditions), which meant that it dealt 80 damage, equal to the HP of Ninetales (Expeditions). This match-up in itself was not bad at all, but considering I only saw the deck for the first time, you can imagine it is rather difficult to play the match-up correctly.


Round 3: Jumpluff (Aquapolis) / Arcanine (Aquapolis) Win

[Special Energy]: Attach Rainbow Energy to 1 of your Pokémon. While in play, Rainbow Energy counts as every type of basic Energy but only provides 1 Energy at a time. Doesn't count as a basic Energy card when not in play. When you attach this card from your hand to 1 of your Pokémon, it does 10 damage to that Pokémon. (Don't apply Weakness and Resistance.)

By attaching “Rainbow Energy” to Jumpluff (Aquapolis), it will automatically activate it’s Poke-BODY “Fluff”. (During your opponent's turn, if Jumpluff would be damaged or affected by an opponent's attack and it already has at least 1 damage counter on it, flip a coin. If heads, prevent all effects of that attack (including damage). When this Poke-BODY is activated, it will be harder to KO it, because 50% of the time no damage is done. However, Jumpluff’s (Aquapolis) attack “Cotton Punch” ([Grass] Cotton Punch - flip two coins, 30 damage for each heads) can at best only deal 60 damage, therefore it had to hit Ninetales (Expeditions) at least twice (in the best case scenario) to KO it. 

Also, because Typhlosion’s (Expeditions) attack “Super Singe” does not require to discard any Energy Cards, it became my main attacker in this match-up. 

My opponent’s Arcanine (Aquapolis), required to flip coins for its attack “Fire Blow” ([Colorless][Colorless][Colorless] Fire Blow 30+ You may discard any number of Fire Energy cards attached to Arcanine when you use this attack. If you do, flip a number of coins equal to the number of Fire Energy cards you discarded. This attack does 30 damage plus 30 more damage for each heads.), I was lucky that none of my Pokémon were KO’d. If my opponent was a bit luckier with his coin-flips, I may have lost the match-up. All in all, this was not a bad match-up either.


Round 4: Scizor (Aquapolis) / Slowbro (Aquapolis) Won 

Now this was a deck I was aware of! It would be a game of attrition, between Slowbro (Aquapolis) and Ninetales (Expeditions). When play-testing I noticed that when I was able to get Typhlosion (Expeditions) out, it was easy to win this match-up, considering Slowbro (Aquapolis) needs 2 Energy cards to attack. Also, Tangela (Aquapolis) was important to get a good set-up. I simply attached Energy cards and kept Ninetales (Expeditions) on my field to win this game. 


Round 5: Scizor (Aquapolis) / Kingdra (Clair, Vs Series..?) Won? Lost?

I am terribly sorry, but I don’t remember the details of this match.
I have a feeling that Kingdra was “Clair ‘s Kingdra” though…


Round 6: Tyranitar (Aquapolis) Won

Tyranitar (Aquapolis)’s attack “Destructive Roar” ([Darkness] Destructive Roar Flip a coin. If heads, discard 1 Energy card attached to 1 of your opponent's Pokémon.) was strong because it discarded energies, however my deck was able to accelerate energy drops so the discards did not have any major effect on me. There was no way that my deck would lose this match. 


Round 7: Lanturn / Ninetales Won

This was the first time I hit it off well with a player, his name was Kanda. He is my rival, team mate and good friend. I really enjoyed playing this game, and to be honest one of the most exciting game I have ever played.


My opponent started out with Zapdops (Aquapolis). Since Zapdos (Aquapolis) had a Poke-BODY called “Anti-Lightning” ([Poke-BODY] Anti-Lightning. You can't attach [Lightning] Energy cards from your hand to Zapdos.), personally I thought that it was incredibly hard to use; however Kanda was using it very well by playing Rainbow Energy. He confided in me that he played Zapdos (Aquapolis) to protect Electric Pokémon from Fighting Pokémon. I was very impressed by his deck; he had great ideas, that I never thought off, and in addition played very well. Since my deck had Energy acceleration, I had an advantage and was able to win this game.

Although we live pretty far from each other (I used to live in Ishikawa, which is Northern-West of Japan, while Kanda used to live in Osaka, the Western part of Japan.) we became good friends. I still think that it was a miracle that we became good friends after just one game, a  competitive tournament became a place to meet up with my great team mate. 


8 Scizor (Aquapolis) / Quagsire (Aquapolis) Lost

I was expecting decks with Water Type Pokemon and Scizor (Aquapolis) ... I suppose. 

I didn’t test my deck against Quagsire (Aquapolis), but early on, I realized that it was a pretty tough matchup. 

I expected Tangela (Aquapolis) to get KO’d by Scizor (Aquapolis) with one single energy. In general I did not think I would struggle with any Water Pokemon as they needed several energies. However, Quagsire was different - it can attack with only 1 energy attached. With only 1 Energy Card attached, it could do 20 damage, but since Ninetales (Aquapols) is weak to water, the damage would be doubled, this meant that it can KO Ninetales (Aquapolis) in just 2 hits. In addition to this already difficult match-up, I cannot accelerate Energy if my opponent doesn’t have more Energy Cards than me, which was the case here as he only attacked for one energy.

It didn’t look like my opponent had many resources, so it was difficult for him to win against my deck, but by continuously promoting and retreating throughout the game, I ended up losing the game.

6-2? 5-3? 

My result of 6-2 or 5-3 awarded me the 3rd place at the Japanese Championships. 1st place was Scizor (Aquapolis) / Quagsire (Aquapolis), 2nd place was Jumpluff (Aquapolis) / Arcanine (Aquapolis), and 3rd place was me, Yamato, with Ninetales (Expeditions) / Typhlosion (Expeditions). If I was able to win the last match, I would have had a chance to win the tournament, this was a disappointing thought for me. 

Since it was the second time I played the Japanese Championship, I was convinced I was acclimatised to this atmosphere. I also thought I played the best deck in the format, however when looking back at the results, my deck couldn’t win some of the match-ups I was supposed to win. The deck couldn’t meet my expectations. In addition, I lacked something else, of which I underestimated the importance, namely a team mate. However, after playing this tournament in which I met Kanda, I regularly met with great players to test ideas.

Takuya Yoneda also became 3rd in the Junior Division, and although the Master division’s tournament was held on a different day due to some logistical problems, Koji Kanno made Top 4. 

Additionally, by taking third place in the tournament, I was invited to take part in the Champion’s League held the next day, which I longed for. The format for this tournament was very unusual, and I wasn’t able to practice. Let me quickly explain the format: participants must draft 2 decks; made out of 30 cards. Also, a box (40 packs with 5 cards in each pack) of “Split Earth” (which is part of Skyridge sets) was provided as a pre-release, so we could make another deck with 30 cards. We then will have matches with a deck of 60 cards by combining 2 decks made as mentioned above. 

The deck I used was “Scizor / Kingdra”, “Charizard / Ninetales”, “Super mix of Split Earth Set”. I didn’t get any good cards from my box so my third deck was not that good at all, additionally I didn’t have a good draw for the evolution sets either. Using these decks, I lost my first round to a boy who was in the same age as me, a girl still in Elementary School, and Takuya Yoneda who was also in Elementary School at that time. 

By the way, Takuya Yoneda was using a deck with 2 full set of Stage 2 Pokemon which was very cruel to me, since he got those Evolution sets from the box, which left me with nothing to draw from this box. My Skarmory (Skyridge) with 2 Metal Energy was KO’d really quickly. 

My results were pretty terrible, but considering I was preparing for the Japanese Championships by myself, I didn’t have enough time to prepare for Champion’s League as well. Although I was horrified by the fact that I lost to 2 kids in Elementary school when I was in 12th grade, I had a great time playing the Champion’s League and overall it was a great experience which motivated me to become more competitive.

During the tournament, a boy with glasses came up to me and wished me good luck. He looked like he was in middle school, and will be one of my teammates in the future, but I never expected it at that time. 

So, this time I wrote about the Japanese Championships along with Champion’s League for my 6th article. I became 3rd, but couldn’t win - however, I had met some great people in this tournament. The next article will be about tournaments in 2003, which means that I will be at University, and moving to Tokyo from the Ishikawa Prefecture. The end will introduce the e-series, after which the EX series come up! Stay tuned for my next article! See you next time! 

大和 (Yamato) 

Translated by 魔女(Majyo / Madoka.U)


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