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Denise van Wijk

The European Top 22

Hi! This article introduces the players that will represent Europe during the Pokémon World Championships in Boston.

07/11/2015 by Denise van Wijk

Now that all the European Nationals have been played and the last regional concluded I thought it would be a nice idea to provide you with a short introduction of the top 22 players who will represent Europe. This short introduction gives you an overview of who the players are, how long they have played, how they obtained their Championship Points and which decks were crucial in obtaining their spot in Top 22. We asked them about their expectations for Worlds and what their favourite list is. It was incredibly difficult to ask people in advance to have a chat with me considering the top 22 changed almost weekly in the last few weeks. This has proved that this system is extremely volatile and creates a lot of uncertainty. In addition to the 22 best players in Europe, I had a chat with David Hochmann, who after winning 4 regionals missed out on Top 22 due to a poor performance at Nationals. When looking at the results, we recognise that doing well at Nationals was of crucial importance to claim a spot in the Top 22. However, a deeper analysis of the flaws of the current system is a topic for another article. Let me introduce the players you will definitely see on day 2.

22. Ryan Moorehouse

 

I'm English and have been playing for 3 years now. 

This year I obtained my points via 6 League Challenges, two 1st's and two 2nd's at Cities and 1st, 2nd and two 3rd finishes at Regionals. I also obtained 80 CP from Nationals and 70 CP from Worlds 2014. 

I got most of my CP via Yveltal EX builds, with half of the placements including Garbodor. 

For Boston I expect Night March to be very popular due to its immense power of being able to hit high numbers in the early game and sustain its board position throughout the mid and late game.

21. Gawein Wagner

 

Both Gawein and his brother Tristan are seasoned Dutch players. Unfortunately Tristan was unable to have a chat with us, so I will try to introduce him along his brother. 

Gawein has played the Pokémon Trading Card Game since day one: “I have literally been there from day 1 with everything”. Their father organises all tournaments in Belgium and the Netherlands, so the brothers have had a lot of exposure to Pokémon from early on.

When asked how they accrued so many points, Gawein told me that they played in lots of tournaments of course. In Europe, the brothers are known for attending a large number of tournaments. It is great to see the passion these brothers have for the game.

Gawein was unable to pinpoint a deck which accrued him most points as he switched decks almost every tournament. He guesses Kyogre/techs because he won a regional with it.

With the ban of Lysandre’s Trump Card, Night March and Flareon actually get back into the meta game but it is probably going to be more luck than skill because a wide range of decks is viable while consistency and guarantees are practically missing. So the decks people feel luckiest with probably will be seen more. Lots of hype decks unfortunately. 

20. Emanuel da Silva

 

I am a Dutch player and have been playing this game competitively since I walked into a Pokémon league by accident in 2001. I only started travelling to tournaments in 2009 though. Before that I only played locals, nationals and worlds.

I've accrued most CP by placing 2nd at the ECC. I got about 200-300CP with three decks this season. 255 with Yveltal, 300 with Jamming net/Xerneas and 240 with Seismitoad/Garbodor.

I expect fighting decks to be extremely popular at Worlds, because Night March got a massive popularity boost, but really struggles to deal with a Focus Sashed Landorus EX, Donphan, or the Crobats that take cheap knock-outs while hiding behind Sashed Hawluchas. I'd say Hawlucha/Bats with some Landorus EX varieties will be most popular at worlds. 

19. Luca Schuster

 

Luca is from Austria and lives in the capital, Vienna!

I started playing 7 or 8 years ago, but for the first years I was a complete noob who had no idea how to play a competitive deck. I started playing competitively in Austria 6 years ago and started to compete internationally 2 years ago.

This year I traveled more than the previous years and got to see some beautiful cities like Prague and Berlin and this was my main aim: to travel. Nearly every international tournament I attended, brought me some points but the most important tournaments definitely were regionals and nationals.

The deck that accrued me most points was initially Virizion EX/Genesect EX, however at the end of the season Seismitoad EX/Slurpuff was most valuable to me. 

In Boston I definitely expect Night March to be popular, it's just too strong with the ban of Lysandre’s Trump Card! But I think that there will be a fair amount of Rayquaza EX and Raichu/Crobat decks, but we'll see nearer the time.

18. Simone Zucchelli

 

Hello 60Cards,

My name is Simone Zucchelli and I’m 16 years old. I’m Italian and live in Rovereto, a  small city in north Italy. Unfortunately, I’m the only Italian in the top 22, but I won’t be alone at this World Championship.

I started playing Pokemon 8 years ago, in January 2007 with a Golden Sky Theme Deck, but afterwards I built a deck based on Tyrannitar EX and I became second at my first Italian National Championship.

The following year I really started play competitively when I discovered my future favourite deck GG (Gardevoir-Gallade). That year, I won the National Championship with that deck and added some new techs which allowed me to become 3rd at World Championship 2008 in Orlando – Florida.

Ever since I continued to practice to become a better player, playing with my father and my brother Michele (he also made top 22 but in the Senior Division) and I still continue to do so.

This has been a very busy year and I had to travel a lot to achieve all the points required. In the end I obtained the following results:

National Championship 3rd 

Regional Championship: 1st in Milano, 2nd in Bari and Geneva (Switserland) and 3rd in Montpellier (France) 

City Championship: 1st place at Milano, Torino, Mantova and Innsbruck (Austria)  

League Challenge: 6 x 1st place  

I played a lot of different decks during this season and despite that I made top in almost all tournaments I participated in, only the following two deck allowed me to accrue a lot of CP points: Donphan and Night march. To sum up, I played the following decks in my tournaments: 

National Championship: Night March

Regional Championship: Milano - Night March, Bari - Donphan and Geneva (Switserland) - Night March and Montpellier (France) - Night March 

City Championship: Milano - Donphan, Torino - Metal, Mantova - Donphan and Innsbruck (Austria) - Donphan  

League Challenge: 4 times Night March, metal once and Donphan once 

The Pokemon World Championship is a very particular tournament with many expert and intelligent players, for this reason it’s really hard make a prediction. In my opinion the deck that will probably win, will be the one that nobody expects like last year with Virizion EX/Genesect EX.

Good luck everybody, see you in Boston and GO NIGHT MARCH GO!!!

17. Benjamin Pham

 

I am from Almere, the Netherlands. 

I have been playing since the BLS-meta, I think that was 2006 and haven’t stopped playing since then. Not sure when I actually started playing competitively, I just started playing because I enjoyed playing card games. I used to play Yu-Gi-Oh and Poker at the same time as well. For now, I'm not sure if I'm that competitive in the true meaning of the word; I just want to play well and have fun.  

So, my goal at the beginning of the season was to get 300 points to secure my invite to Worlds. This season I played a total of 5 Cities, 6 Regionals, 4 LC's, the ECC and Nationals. 

A summary of my points:

Metal: 2 top 4 CC + top 64 ECC = 90 points

Donphan: 2 top 4 CC + 1 1st LC = 75 points

Manectric EX/Virizion EX: 2 top 8 Regionals = 150 points

Seismitoad EX: 1 top 8 Regionals + 1st Nationals + 1 2nd LC = 587 points.

Landobats: 2 1st LC = 30 points

Raichu/Empoleon: 1 top 8 Regionals: 75 points.

So I got the most points with Seismitoad EX, because of my Nationals win. But I played Landobats at two tournaments, and won them both. So that might be my most successful deck this year (percent-wise). However, Toad brought me into the top 22 of Europe so he deserves all props.

Its hard to predict the meta, but I think Seismitoad EX is still alive. Landobats, Raichubats and Rayquaza are good for sure. I think Night March is a bit overhyped, and I wouldn’t consider to play that at worlds. Maybe Metal can make a comeback again? Who knows?

16. Manu Riemis

 

I am from Belgium and have played for 2 and a half years now. 

I started when Boundaries Crossed was first released. 

Before nationals, I gained points from 3 regionals and the ECC, additionally I won one City and topped 2. Most of the points I gathered when playing Seismitoad EX, which was also a key component in the deck I played to win nationals. 

15. Søren Lau

I am from Denmark and have been playing Pokemon for about 6 years now. I started taking my son to league when he was 7 years and liked the game myself so started playing as well. We have both been playing competitively for about 5 years.

I have been playing a lot of tournaments this year to achieve my 987 championship points. I started with the fall regionals, playing Yveltal EX/Seismitoad EX and got two 5th places and one 2nd. During the City Championships I played Seismitoad EX/Aromatisse/Malamar EX for a 1st and a 2nd place, Landorus EX/Bats for a third first place and also got first place with Yveltal EX/M-manectric EX. In the Spring Regionals, I got 1 first place with a Fairy toolbox deck. I just played my Nationals this weekend and became 2nd with Gengar/Trevenant. 

It is very hard to say what will be popular in Boston since only a few tournaments have been played without Lysandre’s Trump Card, I think we will have a much better idea after Canada and US nationals.

 

14. Lukas Peer 

I am from Austria and became this year’s Austrian National Champion. I have started to play the TCG in 2007. During the previous seasons I was too young to travel on my own to tournaments outside Austria, while Austria didn't organise that many events. The only big tournament was our Nationals, so competitively I only played Nationals during this season. 

However with the new Top 22 system, I tried to play a lot of tournaments, travelled through Europe earning enough Championship Points to secure my place for day 2.

Most of my points are from Regionals, where a placed Top 2 twice, Top 4 and Top8 once. Because of school I was only able to play one City, in which I became second. Those results put me at 490 points and luckily I was able to win our Nationals, so that makes 990 points in total.

Luca, one of my friends here in Austria, who is also in Top 22, earned basically all his points with the same archetypes as me and I remember one conversation with him, where I said: "You know, it's funny. In all the tournaments I accrued points, I played a different deck."

I made Top 2 at Regionals with Virizion EX/Seismitoad EX/Mewtwo EX and Exeggutor.

Top 4 with Virizion EX/Genesect EX

Top 8 with Gardevoir.

My Top 2 City result was achieved with Yveltal EX/Darkrai EX and I won Nationals with Bronzong/Dialga EX/Aegislash EX/Seismitoad EX. 

The metagame in Boston will be very interesting due to the ban of Lysandre's Trump Card. This made the Meta Game much "healthier" again. There are many different decks with a lot of potential.

I think that a deck with Raichu will be really good, but of course Night March, Lando Bats and Gengar/Trevenant, Groudon EX/Wobbuffet will also see a lot of play.

13. Tristan Wagner

Tristan is the brother of Gawein, but unfortunately was not available to be interviewed.

12. Steffen Eriksen

Steffen is Danish but live in the Netherlands, hence the "NL" after his name in the rankings.

I have played for about 10 years competetively. 

Regionals gave me most points for sure, but if you mean deck, then its Donphan (the president) and Flareon. 

I expect Landobats to be a big thing as proven by the results this past weekend. However, Im sure something else will come up!

 

11. Patrik Räty  

I'm Finnish and lived a while in Texas, but I was basically only a toddler then. 

I've played this game on a technically competitive level since 2008 nationals, but started to attend tournaments outside of nationals/worlds 2009 and my hometown during the 2010-2011 season.


My points came from the following tournaments:

540CP from regionals 

170CP from cities

300CP from nationals 

I've attended 5 cities, 5 regionals and 1 nationals.  

I've played so many decks this year that it's hard to say. I've played basically everything in the format, so it's impossible to say that one or two decks did me the best this season. I don't think I even played a single deck for more than 2 tournaments this season. Basically any top tier or near top tier deck at any point during the season, I've probably played it and got some points with it.  

Well I think it is too early to say what is going to be popular at Boston or even what I think is going to be at popular Boston. Keeping that in mind, I can't really say, but looking back at results from Denmark and Canada could give some insight. Given that I'm only really concerned about what is played in Day 2, which is much harder to predict due to the caliber of the players in Day 2. 

I'm unsure at the moment, but the game is so wide open as shown by the results in Denmark and Canada. The decks over at those tournaments varied so much. 

Well I'm obviously testing a lot of decks, but I can't say which I prefer the most. To be fair, even if I could I wouldn't exactly say it in the open.

10. Alex Dao

I'm British, of Chinese origin/ethnicity

My first tournament was in January 2013, so 2 years and a half 

I've done ALOT of travelling. Probably a bit too much to be honest. Turned up to almost every event in the UK, a couple in France, the ECC and UK Nats most recently 

I've probably played every deck that has come out this season, but because of UK Nats and 1 other regional win, Seismitoad EX has gotten me the most points.  

For Boston I expect decks such as Landorus EX/bBats and Night March especially now without trump card. But there could be a number of surprises now Lysandre’s Trump Card isn't in the format.  

 9. Igor Costa

So I'm Portuguese and I've  been playing since the 2008/2009 season.

I got most of my points playing for fun because i didn’t know  about the day 2 system and that top 4 would not get there until much later in the season ... so I gave away some LC results and conceded during top 4 at Regionals while I also stopped playing for like 3 months so didn’t attend any Cities and didn’t go to the ECC, after that I decided that I needed top 22 to feel more secure so I went to the last 2 regionals in Portugal and placed 1st in both of them. This in combination with a 1 place that I had obtained in the beginning of the season and the top 4 from Worlds meant that I already had a good amount of CP. I also made it to top 4 at Nationals which gave me enough points for top 22. I had a feeling that I would make top in Portugal and I did so I feel really happy about myself.

The deck that got me most of my CP was Seismitoad EX ... Seismitoad EX/Manectric EX/Ninetales and Seismitoad EX/Slurpuff won me 2 regionals and Yveltal EX/Seismitoad EX/4 Hammers won me one as well. During nationals I played Seismitoad EX again but this time with Dusknoir.

I don’t know what to expect since I didn’t playtest without Lysandre’s Trump Card yet, so I will start testing after US Nationals.

8. Paulo Silva

My Name is Paulo Silva and I am from Portugal. 

I've been playing Pokémon competitively since 2008/2009, the diamond and pearl editions. 

This season I did not play much but I was able to make some top cuts in Regionals and with my victory at Nationals, combined with my points from Worlds 2014 meant that I could get the 1000+ points and consequently get into top 22 of Europe, which was my goal!

I played Landorus EX/Bats mid season, during 3 regionals within a few days from each other. I managed to make top 2 and top 4 in two of them. After I started to focus on nationals, because I knew that if I won, I could get top 22. So I tried and I tried and I tested (rolling stones style) and me and Igor came up with Seismitoad EX/Shaymin EX/Dusknoir deck which to me is a great deck!

The meta will change for sure. The thing is: or players think that toad is dead and start playing with turbo decks (with better resource management) like Night March, Flareon, Rayquaza EX; or players will still acknowledge Seismitoad’s presence and opt for disruption decks again; or a mix of both: like Seismitoad EX being a staple in every deck. US nationals will work like a display for the rest of the world to this new meta.

 

 7. Tord Reklev

Tord is a Norwegian player. He has played competitively for 10 years now, which he considers an anniversary.

He won 4 out of 4 regionals in a row in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, and placed 2 at Norway nationals.

During the season he switched decks for every tournament, but thinks Yveltal EX is the deck which gave him the majority of his Championship Points. 

He expects to see people counter the decks that will do well at US nationals while being way too afraid to play it themselves. 

 

6. Mees Brenninkmeijer

I am a player from the Netherlands. 

I started playing around the gym sets, but got into competitive play in 2007.

I got most of my points from Regionals I think, but my main goal was to get around 80% of the maximum points from Best Finish Limits for various series of tournaments. At first I thought I would be safe with 800 points before nationals, but that turned out to be wrong, so I'm glad that I still received points from nationals.

At the start of the season I gained most of my points with Donphan, pairing it with Raichu and later Accelgor in expanded for a total of 307 points. During Cities I played Manectric EX/Fairy to great success, for 160 points, sadly not doing very well at the ECC. For the second set of regionals I only played Exeggutor, giving me a top 8, top 4 and finals placement for 315 CP. My Nationals second place finish with Seismitoad EX and a regionals top 8 with that deck gives it the most points though, 390 CP. 

For how it looks right now, the most popular deck will be Landorus EX/Crobat because of the power it gained from Seismitoad EX being nerved by the Lysandre’s Trump Card ban. Without the endless Super Scoop Ups from Seismitoad EX, Hawlucha can easily compete with Seismitoad EX. Another Strong deck is Trevenant/Gengar, because of Wally making a turn 1 Trainerlock possible. The whole deck also resists fight which is really nice given how good Landorus EX/Bats is.

5. Patrick Landis 

I am from Switzerland and started playing competitively in 2001

My Championship Points break down would look like the following: Nationals 500 and regionals 450 along with cities 150 and one LC 12

Seismitoad EX/Slurpuff was crucial in attaining points, this deck helped me receive 800 CP in nationals and regionals.

It is hard to say what decks I think will be popular. I recognised a rise of decks with crobat. Landobats succeeded in Danish nats, but i think we will also see different kind of Rayquaza EX, Night march and Trevenant decks.

4. Tommi Lahtela 

Tommi was born in Finland, but has lived almost his whole life in Norway. He has played Pokémon competitively for 6 years now.

He gained his Championship Points by reaching the finals of Regionals four times and by winning nationals.

He found playing different variants of Seismitoad EX most beneficial for him. 

In Boston Tommi still expects Seismitoad EX to be popular while also seeing a fair amount of Crobat varieties and Night March.

3. Niklas Lehnert-Rappel

I am from Germany and have been playing competitively since 2012. 

My ECC win with Virizion EX/Genesect EX/Golbat was the most crucial towards my points. Also 2nd place at German nationals was incredibly important.

I accrued most of my points with Virizion EX/Genesect EX considering it won me the ECC while also piloting me towards a Top 4 and Top 2 at Regionals. 

I expect a lot of Landorus EX/Crobat Decks to be good. This deck has a lot of options for techs I feel like e.g. Focus Sash, Absol, etc..

For expanded I really loved this list to test around with:

2. Simon Eriksen

 

Yet another set of brothers in the Top 22. Simon is Steffen's brother.

Simon holds the Danish nationality and has been playing competitively since the 2007/2008 season. He attended his first worlds in 2008.

Simon received 535 CP from regionals, 500 CP from nationals, 140 CP from Cities and LC got him 85 CP.

A Groudon deck he played at nationals gained him most points, however his Donphan/Wobuffet was very important as well. In general, he acknowledges he has played almost every deck in the format so his points are spread over several decks.

The metagame during Worlds will really depend on the US meta he thinks. But for now I think Landorus EX/Bats, Yveltal EX/Garbodor/Seismitoad EX or Night march would be the play. 

He does not want to reveal the list he is currently testing but he is interested in Yveltal EX/Garbodor.

1. Martin Janouš

I am from the Czech republic.

I have collected cards from the start of the game. I only started to play tournaments in 2005. One year later I won my first Nationals in the senior division. So far I have won nationals in the Czech Republic 5 times (2x senior division and 3x master division). So I have been playing this great card game for almost 10 years and I really don't intend to stop.

This season was crazy for me. I had very bad start initially. In autumn regionals series I was able to gain only 75 championship points from TOP 8 at a regional. After this, I made decision in December, that I would take a break for this season because I was in the last year of school and had other things on my mind than Pokémon. However, I played some City Championships and surprisingly placed well. I earned 190/200 CP from Cities. So I changed my mind and decided to take a chance and try to do well at the spring regionals and catch up on the points I missed out on earlier. The 2 months that followed were very hectic for me because I didn't do anything else than test, play in tournaments or study. But everything has a happy ending and I achieved the results I wanted. I placed first twice, second once and TOP 4 once at Spring Regionals and jumped from bottom of championship chart to the top. On top of that I won the national championships in my country that gave me 1320CP in total.

Most championship points were gained with my Seismitoad EX/Slurpuff deck. This deck gave me the following placements: 2x 1st place City, all my Regionals results (2x first, 1x second, 1x TOP4) and 4x 1st place League Challenge. So this deck earned me 700CP! However the most points I received from 1 tournament was Nationals where I played Raichu/Crobat deck.

I think after the ban of Lysandre's Trump Card, the metagame will change somewhat. Seismitoad EX will not be so popular (I mean decks based around just Seismitoad EX, like Seismitoad EX/Slurpuff or Seismitoad EX/Shaymin, but I don't think that Seismitoad EX will be gone completely. It will still be a good tech). It provides opportunities to another decks to do well. Special fighting decks may find a way to do well again. Landorus EX/Crobat or Donphan had trouble against Seismitoad EX, but now can again ground again. Another deck that can be good could be Night March or Flareon. Players can't force one to shuffle all the Night March Pokémon back into the deck, which gives these decks an advantage. The last deck that I think will be good are decks around Raichu. Raichu can be paired now with everything, so it would be interesting to see what decks will be created around this. However I think that some players would play it safe and opt for classic decks like Aromatisse, Virizion EX/Genesect EX or Yveltal EX after all.

Raichu/Crobat can be now paired with everything. I chose Yveltal EX over Seismitoad EX or Virizion EX. Yveltal can help against Aegislash EX that is becoming more popular and make the Gengar/Trevenant match-up easier. In general put Yveltal EX on bench in early turns with one darkness energy gives you the option to attack with him when the time is right. Another interesting aspect of my deck is the absence of Professor Juniper. I don't like Professsor Juniper in this format anymore and think that decks that can avoid to play them can profit because these decks did not discard all good cards that can be the key to win. With Shaymins you are able to fill bench fast (probably in first turn), so Colress is good even it can be scary to start just with him, but with 1 Ultra ball for Shaymin, it is fine.

Honourary Player: David Hochmann

I am from Germany

I started going to tournaments in 2009, but I started playing competetive decks and making the top cut frequently in 2010

I was able to get 600 from Regional Championships, which is the reason why I have so many points even tho I only got 120 from citys and 80 from Nationals.

I did get 300 with Virizion EX/Genesect EX and 300 with Seismitoad EX/Slurpuff, but I liked Virizion Ex/Genesect EX the most, because of its consistency and Red Signal created a lot of situations in which you have to choose what to do.

I think like last year the meta really depends on US Nationals. Last year, Pyroar got hyped after US Nats and most of the people played decks with a good Pyraor Match Up, which made it possible for Virzion EX/Gensect EX to win easily. But maybe this year it will be different, because the top X player from each region know the best 64 decks from Day 1 and I don't think a lot of people will play another deck in Day 2. But I like everything with Crobat in it a lot at the moment."

Closing thoughts

I would like to thank all these amazing players for having a short chat with me about their past season. Achieving so many Championship Points is a real achievement and I am proud to see these players travel to Boston and participate during Worlds. I hope you enjoyed reading this article and got to know the European players a bit better. 

 

Denise

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