My Worlds experience!
Mees Brenninkmeijer talks about his time at the 2015 World Championship, where he took Second Place.
09/15/2015 by Mees Brenninkmeijer
The week before Worlds, I’m in New York City, hanging out with my friends. I didn’t really playtest much, but being with other players makes you discuss the game regardless. Before we even left the Netherlands, me and my playtesting partner Benjamin Pham were clueless on what to play, but had strong preference towards M-Manectric-EX based decks, Primal Groudon-EX based decks and the Seismitoad-EX/Manectric-EX/Crobat deck. During the time we were in New York, my preference for the latter grew. Fast forward to when we’re staying with Aziz Al-Yami, and he’s convinced that either Night March, or some kind of Seismitoad-EX deck is the play, although he doesn’t like the idea of Manectric-EX paired with Seismitoad-EX so much. Fast forward again to Boston, where I meet up with Curtis Lyon, Brit Pybas, Mike Diaz, and later Jit Min and Dylan Bryan to playtest with. Trying to figure out which deck is the play for Day 1, Curtis decides to play Primal Groudon-EX after a long night of discussing the deck with Jit Min and Yamato. Curtis sadly didn’t make it through Day 1, partly because of the influx of unexpected Night March decks.
During Day 1, I end up talking to Igor Costa and we agree that something with Crobat is the play. Later that night, I end up playtesting with Igor some more, and he beats the Primal Groudon-EX deck Curtis played on Day 1 convincingly with his Seismitoad-EX/Crobat deck. Going back to my room, I decide to build and play the deck, optimizing it for the matchup against other Seismitoad-EX decks with the double Xerosic and against Primal Groudon-EX with the double Mewtwo and heavy Crobat line. The Crobat line also gave me a better Night March matchup. I was going into Worlds thinking that those three would be the best and most popular decks, so I wanted to counter them specifically. Brit and Curtis help me with the list, and after playing some games against Brit and Andrew Estrada, I decide on playing the deck. The next day, my choice turned out to be even better, because there wasn’t so much Primal Groudon-EX, but Night March and even Landorus-EX/Crobat ended up being very popular. This is the list I played in Day 2 (I had the Day 1 Bye.)
- 2x Mewtwo EX
- 3x Seismitoad EX
- 4x Zubat
- 4x Golbat
- 3x Crobat
- 2x Shaymin EX
- 4x Professor Juniper
- 3x N-supporter
- 2x Xerosic
- 1x Colress
- 1x Lysandre
- 1x AZ
- 3x Virbank City Gym
- 4x VS Seeker
- 4x Ultra Ball
- 4x Super Scoop Up
- 4x Hypnotoxic Laser
- 3x Muscle Band
- 1x Computer Search
- 4x Double Colorless Energy
- 3x Water Energy
[Editor's note: You can find the deck profile here.]
Round 1 versus Alexander Hill (US) with Trevenant/Gengar-EX
He opens with a Phantump and I immediately realize what I’m up against. I don’t think my matchup is too bad, but I’ve never played against this deck in a format without Trump Card. The double Xerosic should be very good in this matchup, being able to remove Float Stone from his Trevenant. He gets a very strong start in Game 1; although he doesn’t get the first-turn Wally, he sets up very well because I’m unable to find a Double Colorless Energy in my first few turns. Being able to set up multiple Trevenant with Float Stones turned out to be huge. I try to lock one Active with Xerosic and Quaking Punch, but the Mystery Energy to Retreat Trevenant and Dark Corridor into another one with Float Stone turns out to be too much to handle for me.
Game 2 is very lopsided. He opens weak, and I have a turn-two Quaking Punch, so he scoops quickly. Game 3 is more back and forth, with me taking a big KO on his three-Energy Gengar-EX with Mewtwo-EX. Unable to really capitalize on this KO, I go back to Quaking Punching. He starts slowly getting back into the game, so I try to finish the game quickly with a Lysandre on his Shaymin-EX, but I still lack the damage to do so. I decide to try anyways, play my own Shaymin-EX for a bunch of cards, but don’t end up hitting the Crobat needed for the KO. I end up only able to do 80 with a Muscle Band and a Laser, putting it to Sleep with a heads flip. I know that if he's able to bring back the Shaymin-EX with 80 damage, it would be very bad for me. Luckily, he stays Asleep and has no card to get Shaymin-EX out of the Active spot after my Quaking Punch, so I win the game going into my turn.
Round 2 versus Jimmy Pendravis (US) with Night March
He opens very strong in the first game, but quickly burns out after a lot of Bat drops and me making sure there are no Pokémon-EX on my field he can Lysandre for easy Prizes. Skill Dive ends up getting me my last Prizes. Game 2, I have a pretty good hand, opening with Seismitoad-EX, Computer Search and Juniper. He does the Night March thing turn one, getting a Muscle Band on Mew-EX and a bunch of Night Marchers in his discard pile. I decide to Computer Search for Double Colorless Energy, hesitating for a bit, thinking about whether or not I’m gonna draw a Basic Pokémon, but all my Zubat and Ultra Ball are there, so I decide to get the DCE anyways. Sadly I don’t draw another Basic Pokémon and the game is over by next turn. Game 3 doesn’t go much better for me. While I don’t lose on the second turn, I don’t manage to get to my Golbat/Crobat in time, which loses me the game eventually. After this bad beat, I try not to lose my composure too much, and keep my focus for the next game.
Round 3 versus Ryohei Takaki (JP) with Raichu/Garbodor/Aegislash-EX/Cobalion-EX/Suicune
When he flips over a Pikachu, I just assume he’s playing Raichu/Crobat and try to set up a Seismitoad-EX on my first turn, attaching a Double Colorless Energy in the process. To my surprise, he Benches a Cobalion-EX and attaches a Rainbow Energy. The game gets bad for me at this point and a few turns later, he only has one Prize left. I notice he played four Float Stone and has an Aegislash-EX on his Bench, so I Lysandre it and try to kill his Bench with Skill Dive. Every time he attaches a Double Colorless Energy, I Xerosic it off his Aegislash-EX. Sadly, one turn I’m unable to Xerosic the Double Colorless Energy, but manage to N him to one and he rips the VS Seeker of the top and uses Colress for his whole deck, drawing the last Double Colorless Energy. Games 2 and 3 go much better for me. I watch my Double Colorless Energy carefully so I don’t get outplayed by Cobalion-EX. I’m able to keep up Quaking Punch all game both Games 2 and 3, which his deck wasn't able to handle. Game 3 is not very close, but I needed to win before time was called, and I managed to do so by killing a Wobbuffet on the bench with two Crobat and Golbat drop and using Lysandre on something weak.
Round 4 versus Kyle Sabelhaus (US) with M-Manectric-EX/Tool Drop
Honestly, there isn’t much you can say about these games. Kyle got very poor starts in both Game 1 and 3, but he managed to win a close second game. Not too much interesting stuff happens in matchups where M-Manectric-EX is involved. The game played out in favour of Kyle because of the inherent advantage his deck has over Seismitoad-EX decks.
Round 5 versus Tobias Thesing (DE) with Raichu/Crobat
Game 1 is a disaster for me. I open a lone Zubat with my only draw option being Colress, which is worthless because I went first. I end up playing Colress for one because I didn’t want to lose to Double Colourless Energy for Quick Attack. I draw a Mewtwo-EX and N shortly after, but it didn’t bring me back into the game as I hoped it would. The next game he opens very poorly, and a quick Quaking Punch seals this game for me. During the last game, I had some of the most insane draws I've ever had with this deck, setting up my full 4-4-3 Crobat line by turn four and drawing all six Pprizes.
Round 6 versus Henry Ross-Clunis (US) with Night March
In the first game, something happens that I haven’t seen before. Henry manages to open with a Pumpkaboo, uses Professor Juniper, but doesn’t draw any Basic Pokémon or ways to get one, so he scoops immediately (this felt like revenge for the same thing happening to me in Round 2). Game 2 doesn’t go much better for him. A poor start is punished greatly by a turn-one Quaking Punch and the subsequent Crobat/Golbat drops that follow.
Round 7 versus Junichi Kakinoki (JP) with M-Manectric-EX/Yanmega
This series was probably the most insane match I played in Swiss. I had to read what Yanmega did (luckily my opponent had the English version of the card with him too!) when it first hit the field. In the first game, he doesn’t open very well and I open with Mewtwo-EX. Not wanting to have my Seismitoad EX killed in one hit, I decide to just try using Mewtwo-EX with Crobat to go for KOs. This worked out very well because he didn’t run a Mewtwo-EX counter in his deck, and he was struggling with the consistent 2HKOs I could pump out. Game 2, he gets a very strong start, and by starting Seismitoad-EX, I’m forced to Quaking Punch for the first few turns, not putting any real damage on his Pokémon. Once Mewtwo-EX comes into the picture, I manage to mount a small comeback, but it’s too little, too late.
I decided to play it out anyways, as a tie would be fine for me here and I don’t consider this a very good matchup. Game 3 turns out to be an epic conclusion of Swiss, me starting with Mewtwo-EX again, and just pumping it with Energy as soon as possible. He gets a below-average start, and I manage to kill his only Manectric-EX with Energy quickly. Time is called, and I have two turns to draw four Prizes. Luckily, my opponent had a Shaymin-EX on his Bench, so that was where the first two Prizes came from. Then in my last turn, my opponent only had M-Manectric-EX with no damage and no Energy attached. I attach another Double Colourless Energy to Mewtwo-EX (bringing it to a total of eight Energy), play down Golbat and Crobat, and X Ball for the remaining 160 damage to win the game on the final turn. After this game, I’m super hyped for Top 8, as this is the first time I’ve done well in the World Championships. After a long wait, it’s finally time for my Top 8 match.
Quarterfinals versus Tito Santoso (ID) with Fairy
I was surprised that a Fairy deck made it this far and I’m kinda worried about my matchup. If he plans on using his Seismitoad-EX with Malamar-EX combination and gets an Aromatisse up and running, things could be bad for me, as I have no real way of getting rid of Sleep other than flipping a heads. Luckily, the Fairy deck has the problems it always had (and that I knew all too well since I played Fairies for most of my City Championships this year): slow setup, and reliance on Energy that you can’t really accelerate easily, as well as dependance on Aromatisse. For the first game, I manage to grab a huge KO and take out all three of his Energy in play, but I don’t manage to disrupt his setup at all. He gets the attackers he wants and Aromatisse, after a bad N, I’m unable to close the game.
For the second game, my opponent doesn’t get a very good start, but manages to disrupt me with Cobalion-EX. This game ends up being very weird, because I ran out of Double Colorless Energy after taking just four Prizes. I need to draw Water Energy and Lysandre to Skill Dive a Pokémon-EX on his Bench for 50. After being N'd to two, I draw Shaymin-EX and try to draw into my Lysandre, but sadly, even after the second Shaymin-EX, I don’t manage to get it. Luckily, I have one more turn to make it happen, but my opponent N's me again. This time, however, he gives me exactly what I need. I draw Lysandre and tie up the game.
In the last game, I open with Seismitoad-EX and two Water Energy in my hand and I use this opportunity to charge Seismitoad-EX with double Water before using the Professor Juniper I also opened with. He ends up making a mistake by playing down Lysandre but discarding his hand (I imagine he wanted to play Professor Juniper) and the judges make him play the Lysandre, which gives me another turn to establish control. I decide to go for a fast Grenade Hammer, supported by Crobat/Golbat/Hypnotoxic Laser, to take OHKOs, and because he’s unable to respond properly, I win the game after three Grenade Hammers on Pokémon-EX. I was absolutely ecstatic that I made Top 4, guaranteeing my Worlds invite next year, but now I have to play my friend Igor Costa.
Semifinals versus Igor Costa (PT) with Seismitoad-EX/Crobat
I get a frustrating no-Supporter hand in the first game, scooping on my first turn. The next game, Igor is the one with poor draws, and with a quick Quaking Punch and a turn-three Grenade Hammer, the game is over. The third game is more interesting, but Igor and I both knew I had won after my first turn. In the Toad mirror match, the most important thing is to get your Muscle Bands down before you get Quaking Punched because of the damage gap between 30 and 50 damage (amplified by the number of attacks it takes to kill a Pokémon-EX with that), which Igor was unable to do. I, on the other hand, got two Muscle Bands down, and a Laser. If you want to see more of the match, I suggest you check out the official video from Pokémon. In the end it was a fun series with a lot of joking between us, and I was super exited for the next day.
Finals versus Jacob Van Wagner (US) with Archie's Blastoise
Apparently this was the shortest and most lopsided Worlds Final ever played. I didn’t really have much input in this game at all. If you want to watch me get slaughtered by insane starts from Jacob and poor starts/Prizes on my end, check out the official video from Pokémon.
After an exhausting weekend, I’m super glad to have seen all my friends from all over the world and to have become the second-best player in the world in 2015!
Also, to make some advertisement for myself: I will be available for (paid) coaching sessions since I currently have a lot of free time on my hands. If you are interested, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you next time!
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