Battle Festa Tokyo Report
This is the article, that I submit for the tournament report competition. I hope you enjoy the insight on japanese tournaments I am trying to give you.
11/03/2014 by Hannes Strobl
For those of you that don't know who I am, my name is Hannes, and I am currnetly studying in Japan for one year.
Before that I played the Pokémon TCG in Germany since October 2013.
Here I want to give you an insight on the Battle Festa Tournament I paticipated in in Tokyo. I promised this to to the readers of my blog Pokemon TCG in Japan for a long time and am proud to finally be able to present the article. I was looking forward to this for since I am in Japan, and I was not disappointed.
The Battle Festa tournaments are some of the biggest tournaments in Japan every year, with easily over 1000 competitors and many of the strongest players in Japan go there to participate.
Table of Contents
1. The Preparations
2. The Deckchoice
3. The Tournament Rules
4. The First Day
5. The Second Day
1. The Preparations
Already about 2 months before the tournament I started to think about what deck to play, how to get to Tokyo, where to stay there, and so on. About a month ahead I learned that my friend, whom I always tested with, wanted to go, too. Also a good friend from uni had decided to visit her family in Tokyo that weekend, so we could all go together. My friend booked the night bus to Tokyo, and from there on there was no going back. I started testing all kinds of decks excessively, which was hard, because no online-playing portal had Phantom Gate scans back then. My only chance was playing with friends, only with the decks I built myself. It was a great challenge, and I know that's not the optimal way of testing, but it was the only way that was practicable for me.
A couple of weeks before, I decided on my deck and started gathering the cards. I already had quite a number of trainers and Pokemon I needed, from those big packs I bought really cheap.
But still hadn't got some of the core cards of my deck. So I started messaging Japanese Pokémon card players I had heard of, or that I found online over facebook. After a few attempts I had success and got promised to get the cards at the tournament. So, my deck was nearly complete, I hoped to get some cards in card shops, or from other players at the tournament, but not even nearly enough tested. I looked for deck advice online, and got some productive advice that led to card-choices I don't regret, but most of them just told me that the deck is unpracticable. I suppose that was because my deckchoice was a new, unknown, untested deck, that came to my mind when I thought about how to work with the new Phantom Gate cards, and the people just thought it had no synergy. I hope after this people will change their minds, because the deck is incredibly fun to play.
2. The Deckchoice
That is because my deckchoice was:
MManectric/ Virizion / Genesect
I featured this deck in one of my earlier articles and it got stuck in my head since then.
The format was BW-on, so don't be surprised if I use rotated cards.
Here is the decklist I promoted this weekend:
MMANECTRIC/ VIRIZION / GENESECT
- 2x Manectric EX
- 2x M Manectric EX
- 3x Genesect EX
- 2x Virizion EX
- 1x Tropius
- 4x Skyla
- 2x Muscle Band
- 1x Professor's Letter
- 3x Energy Switch
- 1x Battle Compressor
- 2x Manectric Spirit Link
- 4x Professor Sycamore
- 3x N-supporter
- 2x Tool Scrapper
- 2x Skyarrow Bridge
- 1x Super Rod
- 1x Shadow Triad
- 2x Bicycle
- 1x G Booster
- 4x Ultra Ball
- 3x VS Seeker
- 7x Grass Energy
- 3x Lightning Energy
- 4x Plasma Energy
In my opinion this deck has an incredible coverage of matchups all over the field:
Pyroar get's destroyed by MManectric EX, also Yveltal EX, Lugia EX and Empoleon, because of their weaknesses.
Of course you still have most of the favorble matchups that you had with VirGen before, like Seismitoad, Aromatisse, and others.
Fighting can be hard, but while testing, I found, that, with this deck, if you want, you can just go straight VirGen, with which it is possible to beat fighting decks.
Of course there are cards in this deck like Skyarrow Bridge, or Manectric Spirit Link, that explain why they should be played by themselves.
Other card choices I will explain now.
I actually had an opening hand once, when I had no supporter, but a Battle Compressor plus VS Seeker, and I was able to pull that combo of a couple of other times. This card is not a must, but definetly helps in some situations when you want to get energy in your discard for MManectric Ex's Turbo Bolt, or just want to thin out your deck to have a higher chance of drawing the right cards.
This cards was an obvious choice for me. One card, to discard opponent's Pokémon's tools, and also Flare Hyper Tools on my own Pokémon. That is why I played this card over Startling Megaphone and Tool Retriever.
I played this card for two reasons, first was Suicune PLB, which I otherwise would have to GBooster, and second to make my opponents draw odd prices, since it was the only non-EX Pokémon I played. It also came in handy against Fighting, because of it's resistance.
The Strategy I followed this weekend is the one I did best with while testing, and is also the one I recommend to all people that want to try this deck out.
That was, to set up as a usual VirGen deck, and get many energies in play with Virizion.
Attack with Genesect to draw some prices either with Megalo Cannon, or, if necessary with GBooster.
Then recover energy with MManectric EX and finish up damaged Pokémon by using Red Signal.
This Strategy is, of course, a very situational one, and changes depending, on which deck you play against, but it also was the one, I saw myself using most of the games.
Since you now know about my deck, I'll tell you more about the tournament.
3. The Tournament Rules
The rules for japanese tournaments differ greatly from western ones.
That is because they are not played in rounds and you only play the best of one.
I'll explain it to you by guiding you through an exemplary run.
1. Get into line for the tournament
The line will be very long, since there will be several hundreds of competitors, but don't worry, it moves really fast as soon as the tournament starts.
2. Get paired with an opponent
You will get seated at a random table and will play against the opponent that is seated opposite of you, of course, also randomly.
3. Win / Lose
If you win, you will stay at that table and wait for your next opponent.
If you lose, you repeat steps 1 and 2 until you win.
4. Win / Lose
If you win again, you will be allowed to progress to the second stage.
If you lose, you will again have to repeat steps 1 and 2.
5. Second Stage
This works the same way, with the only difference that you have to win 3 times in a row and you are paired against opponents that won the same number of games that you have. So you could say this is kind of like a Top 8.
If you lose in second stage, you will have to start from first stage again, but there will be no time to get to second stage again since the tournament only goes 3 ½ hours.
6. Climax Stage
This is the final stage, where the tournaments winners are decided.
There are two lines, one for the older players, and one for the younger players. I don't know the age from where you have to get into the line for older players, but I just supposed I had to go there, since the younger ones all seemed 10 years old or younger.
4. The First Day
My first day was full of ups and downs, many surprises and lots of fun.
I went to Tokyo on the night bus on Friday night, so that I would be there on Saturday morning in time. The nightbus was really nice, and I surely got some sleep, which was good, since I didn't sleep a lot this week.
In Tokyo I got my friend to tell me which train to take and got to the tournament location without problems at about 08:25. The tournament was to start at 10:00, so I thought I was good in time to get a good place in the line and also pick up the cards from the Japanese guy, I messaged with earlier. When I saw the line, I was shocked. I never thought, that there could be a line this long for a Pokémon card tournament. But I accepted it and lined myself up behind all the other people, without knowing, that I, indeed, still had a good place in the line, as I would learn on the second day.
So I met with the guy who seemed to be part of the elite player group in Japan, since I was suddenly surrounded by Japanese players, who all went to worlds several times, and that I also remember hearing of. Especially Takuya Yoneda, currently the best player in Japan, who also played in the Top Cut Invitational this year. So I got them to sign some of my cards (so happy!!!) and thanked them for helping me out with the cards for my deck.
But my card-playing friend, who had went to Toyko the day before to get the last cards we needed, was late, so I still didn't have all the cards for my deck when I entered the tournament area. I eventually got to my friend, who lined up far behind later and got the cards, but there were still two bicycles missing, since I made that change pretty recently. I kept talking to everyone, asking if they had some, but it seemed like the majority of Japanese players don't bring their trading cards to tournaments. I was already thinking of playing two Roller Skated instead, when I finally found someone, who traded me two of his Bicycles and a Muscle Band for and English EX card. Overall, bringing all the German and English cards was definitely a good choice, since many of the Japanese people were interested in those.
You also get two Promos when entering the tournament and a different one, when you enter the second stage.
After I got all of my cards, I got into the first round of games.
1. Game against VirGen
He was playing a variant with Roserade, which lets you search out a card from your deck when you evolve it, but he did not get set up, while I had the usual VirGen-setup and started to GBooster his Pokémon on the 4th turn.
2. Game against Empoleon
Empleons weakness to Manectric EX was just too much for him to deal with, and he also drew dead for a couple of turns when he was using up all his resources to get an Empoleon going. In the end, he tried to stall with Suicune, which fell to a finishing GBooster.
1. Game against Night March
He started with a Joltik and an Celebi, so I knew what I was dealing with. He went first, attached DCE to Joltik and passed. I started with Manectric EX, but instead of attaching the Muscle Band to it to be able to KO the joltik for one energy, I shuffled it back into my deck, since I wanted to set up with Virizion.
I ended up attacking with Manectric EX anyways and regretted not putting on the Muscle Band, but dealing 20dmg to his Celebi EX setting it up to be KOed by a Megalo Cannon.
He needed another turn to setup, put Mew EX active and gave me another turn to stay undamaged. I got Virizion EX going, loaded up a Genesect EX, KOed his Mew EX, Red Signal'd up his Celebi EX and went down to 2 prices. By that time, he had enough Pokémon in his to discard to OHKO my EXs, which he continued to do, until we were tied in prices. I tried to stall my turn with MManectric EX, knowing he couldn't KO it with Night March, and I also could Red Signal up his Jirarchi EX on the following turn for the win. He draws his entire deck, and I get the hope that I would just have to pass my next turn to win, when he plays Lysandre to KO my benched Genesect EX for the Game.
So this was it for me, for that day, but since I did not know, that I woud not have enough time to get through the second stage before the tournament ended, and I wanted to play some more games, I reentered the first Stage.
Game against Yveltal/ MManectric EX
She used Shadow Circle to negate both Manectric and Yveltals weakness, but I was able to counter with Skyarrow Bridge, and we both went down to 2 prices after an interesting and exhausting game. Again, I could have KOed her active, on the next turn, when she put down a Lysandre for the win.
Those Lysandres... too strong with that new VS Seeker, I tell you!!!
Reentering First Stage again.
Game against Yveltal/ Seismitoad/ Garbodor
He is smart enough not to bench his Seismitoads, and just attacks with Yveltal, which then got steamrolled by Manectric EX.
Game against Donphan/ Walls
We did not get far into the game, since time was called, so it ended in a draw.
Games for this day:
When the main tournament was over at 13:30 there was lot of time to meet people, buy merchandise, play mini games and gather as many Pikachu Promos as possible. We went to eat something, and when we were just about to leave the location Imakuni started his performance and I got him to sign a card for me and let me take a photo with him. He was really happy to hear, that he had fans in Germany, too.
On my way out, I met the guy, who gave me the cards for my deck, who also seemed to be friends with Tsuguyoshi Yamato, probably the most famous Japanese Pokémon card player, since he was with him. They were a bit in a rush, so Yamato promised to sign a card for me on the second day.
After we got out, we went to look for some card shops to improve my friends fighting deck since he did not get a single win the whole day and I got to stay in his house in Tokyo over night, where we tested a bit and went to bed early, since we decided to get up at 6:00 to be at the location as early as possible.
5. The Second Day
On the second day I felt much more prepared than on the first one. I had all the cards I needed for my deck from the start, I knew what was coming, and I knew how to handle it.
So I met with the Japanese people from the first day again because my friend wanted to buy some cards from them for his deck. We got in line and then we entered the tournament area after we both got our second participation Promos. We noticed that we were lucky enough to just slip into the group of players who got to play in the first round of games of this day, which was nice, because it meant you have time to play at least one more game.
1. Game against Fighting
My matchup was about 50-50 and the game was balanced until I Emerald Slashed for just one energy onto my Genesect and had to learn that my last Grass Energy was in my prices the hard way. He was down to 2 prices when I GBoostered his Lucario EX , and he only had Landorus EX to attack, but with already 2 strong energy on it, so it could KO another EX with just one more energy. I would have just had to draw the one Grass Energy from my 4 prices with the Lucario EX knock out, to GBooster his Landorus EX, but whiff the energy and lose to a Land's Judgement.
2. Game against Straight MManectric EX
He drew really poorly and I started attacking his Emolga with my Manectric EX and put 20dmg on own Manectric. When he tried to stall with Sigylyph, I got MManectric EX going to attach loads of energy to my Genesect Ex and then GBoostered the Sigylyph, his MManectric EX which already had 20dmg on it, and everything else for the game.
3. Game against Seismitoad EX/ Crobat
He itemlocks me from turn 1, but I am able to KO 2 of his Seismitoad EX with Genesect EX and then two more of his Crobat with MManectric EX for weakness.
This time, I was prepared. I went to the toilet, drank some water, ate something and listened to some music before I rushed into the second stage.
Overall, I felt ready to beat everything that could get into my way.
1. Game against Mewtwo EX/ Revenge Toxicroak
I was able to KO the Toxicroaks before they could Revenge me for a lot of damage and then GBoostered his Mewtwo EXs for the Game. I can't understand, how he got into the second stage.
Again, I took a small break to get ready for the next round.
2. Game against MManectric EX/ Raikou EX/ Eels
He had a really strong game, got 3 Eels out really fast, and also was able to KO my Virizion EX with a V-Create Victini, which I had completely forgotten about. I whiffed an energy and stalled a turn with Manectric EX, then was able to come back with a Genesect EX, KOing his Victini, and GBoostering his Raikou and Rayquaza.
On his last turn, he benches another V-Create Victini, and I think it is over, when he Sycamores his 11 card deck to get his last Fire Energy.
He whiffed the energy.
What more is there to say?
I KOed the victini with another Energy Switch combo and moved on to the last game of the second stage.
I can't remember how many times I used it - Energy Switch is worth its weight in gold in this deck!!! It has incredible come-back potential when you have a 2-energy attacker like MManectric EX.
3. Game against Yveltal EX/ Seismitoad EX
When he flipped the Seismitoad, I thought I got this.
I KOed it with two Emerald Slash, but got no energy out with the second one because I had 3 Grass energy in my prices. So I only got one Genesect EX loaded up, when I GBoostered his Darkrai EX and went down to 2 prices, when he Nd me. I drew dead for a couple of turns, still being able to attach some energy and stall some turns. He got two Yveltal EX loaded up and kept attacking me with Y-Cyclone, trying to wear me down. I retreated the damaged Genesect EX with the GBooster for the Virizion EX, because I shuffeled two Grass Energy back into my deck from the prices with that N earlier. So I attached those energy to a fresh Genesect EX, knowing that if I attached this energy to the damaged Genessect EX and he Lysandred it up I would have been left with nothing. He KOed the Viriziong and suddenly I was in a weird situation. I had a Genesect with 2 energy and a Genesect with a GBooster. I instantly regretted not putting the energy on the other Genesect, since that would have won me the game. But with the cards layed out this way, I couldn't attack with the fresh Genesect since he had enough energy on his Yveltal EX to KO it in return, and also couldn't get rid of the GBooster, and on the same turn recover it with Shadow Triad. So I payed the retreat cost and tried to stall a turn with Tropius to get something going the next turn. He KOed the Tropius and I put active the damaged Genesect, hoping I could get the Shadow Triad after he knocked it out. I whiffed the Shadow Triad, but drew a solid hand from a Sycamore.
Long story short, I was able to get an undamaged MManectric EX with two energy on it, I payed the retreat cost again to retreat the Genesect EX, and attack with it the MManectric. It only dealt 110dmg, because of Shadow Circle, but I knew, he couldn't KO the MManectric EX and I only needed to attack him once more for the game. On his last turn, he played Lysandre, brought up my Genesect, which I put the two energies from Turbo Bolt on, and knocked it out with his Yveltal EX for just enough damage.
Games for this day:
I was, of course, disappointed after such a good run to be kicked out of the tournament, but I had some of the most exciting games I ever played.
After the tournament I got some more Pikachus and then finally met up with Yamato again to make him sign a card for me.
We got moving soon after because I wanted to get to the Tokyo Pokémon Center.
At this point, I will conclude the second day part with some photos of Tokyo for you to enjoy.
In hindsight, there are always things you think you could have done better:
prevented some misplays, altered you decklist, etc.
In this context I would just like to say that this deck can definetly use some Enhanced Hammers. Maybe drop a Bicycle.
But overall, I was really pleased with the deck's performace and I am glad to prove all the people wrong that told me that the deck was bad.
I will most probably also go to the Sendai Battle Festa, which will be another chance to succeed to the Final Stage.
I hope you enjoyed this article and got a good insight on Japanese tournaments.
I sure had a lot of fun and am looking forward to the next one.
I would be glad to hear some feedback and remember to upvote this article for the tournament-report competition.
Greets from Japan,
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