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Denise van Wijk

The North American Top 16

Hi! This article introduces the players who will represent North America during the 2015 Pokémon World Championships in Boston.

07/31/2015 by Denise van Wijk

After having introduced the players that will represent Europe in Boston, I think it is time to introduce the players who will respresent North America!

16. Chris Collins 

 

Hello, and congratulations on making Top 16! Where are you from?

I am from the U.S.

How long have you been playing Pokémon?

This is my second year playing Pokémon competitively.

How did you earn your points this season?

States were probably the most important for my points. I had a States win, a Top2, and a Top 4 this year. My Cities run also helped me a lot, netting me 180 points. 

Which deck got you most of your points?

It is difficult for me to attribute my points to a specific deck, because Yveltal-EX/Hard Charm netted me 180 points and Yveltal-EX/Seismitoad-EX got me 190 points. But, you could just simply combine the two and say I got 370 points with Yveltal-EX.

Which decks do you think will be popular at Worlds?

After Seismitoad-EX/Garbodor won U.S. Nationals, it is a very safe play going into Worlds and I'd expect people to play it by the masses. Mega Manectric-EX variants also look like they will see a ton of play as Mega Manectric is just a versatile card and it saw a lot of success at U.S. Nationals. 

However, it's always hard to predict what will be played at a tournament like Worlds because these players know how to prepare for those decks and try to counter them, so you must keep the counters in mind as well when finding your own deck.

What is your favourite deck?

Even though it's not necessarily the best call for Worlds, I've been playing with Steve Guthrie's Blastoise list, the one he made Top 16 at Nationals with. I had not been enjoying the game, so I needed to try out a deck I did enjoy. This deck reminds me of why I love Pokémon so much and it beats anything that doesn't lock cards (Items and Abilities in particular). But, with enough skill, you can beat even your hardest matchups. I'm probably not going to play it for Worlds, but for the sake of just having a good time, maybe I will. 

15. Maximillian Armitage 

 

Hello, and congratulations on making Top 16! Where are you from?

I am American born and raised from Houston, Texas. 

How long have you been playing Pokémon?

I have been playing Pokémon competitively since 2008. 

How did you earn your points this season?

I earned my points in the following manner:

84 points from League Challenges
170 points from City Championships
170 points from State Championships
105 points from Regional Championships
80  points from our National Championships 

Which deck got you most of your points?

I probably earned over 450 of those points using various styles of Darkrai-EX/Yveltal-EX decks.

Which decks do you think will be popular at Worlds?

For the World Championships, I expect a lot of people to look at our National Championships and play things that do well against Seismitoad-EX and Metal decks. If I had to name one deck that I expected to be the most popular it would probably be Manectric-EX variants. 

What is your favourite deck?

My favorite deck from this format is probably Dylan Bryan's Klinklang deck that he used to Top 8 U.S. Nationals.  The list can be seen below! 

 

14. Kian Amini

 

Hello, and congratulations on making Top 16! Where are you from?

I am an American player. 

How long have you been playing Pokémon?

Pokémon has been part of my life ever since I was little. My sister has been collecting cards and playing the video game since Base Set. I came on around the third generation and started playing the card game in 2008. I was playing casually as kid from 2008-2011. I took a year hiatus and started playing again in 2012. I have been playing competitively for the past three years. 

How did you earn your points this season?

I earned the majority of my points through Regionals and Cities. I earned 330 from Regionals, 200 from Cities, and 78 from League Challenges. 

Which deck got you most of your points?

I've earned most of my points with Yveltal-EX/Darkrai-EX variants. I made Top 4 at Arizona Regionals and won a Cities with Yveltal-EX/Seismitoad-EX. I won San Jose Regionals with Darkrai-EX/Hammers. 

Which decks do you think will be popular at Worlds?

The decks I expect to be popular at Worlds are Metal variants (Klinklang, Straight and Rayqauza). The reason for this is because Metal won Canada Nationals and Metal variants took three of the Top spots 8 at U.S. Nationals. I could also see Raichu and Night March having a presence since they really did not do too well at U.S. Nationals and people might not prepare for them. Then again the format is so diverse, you never know what you will run into. 

What is your favourite deck?

My favorite list of the season was Darkrai-EX/Hammers in Fall Regionals.

 

13. Kevin Baxter

 

Hello, and congratulations on making Top 16! Where are you from?

I am from the United States, specifically Cincinnati, Ohio.

How long have you been playing Pokémon?

I've been playing Pokémon since the Spring of 2012, so a little over three years now. 

Which deck got you most of your points?

The deck I've earned most points with this year is Primal Groudon-EX, from two Top 8 finishes at Regionals and a Top 64 at Nats.  The second on the list is Primal Kyogre-EX, which earned me a Second Place and Top 4 at States.  Then my Cities points came from Mewtwo-EX/Wobbuffet/Crobat and Yveltal-EX/Hard Charm. I've played a variety of decks in League Challenges including Aromatisse and Trevenant/Gengar-EX. 

Which decks do you think will be popular at Worlds?

This Worlds metagame is going to be interesting. Usually people go with well-known, consistent decks for U.S. Nationals and then save the weird stuff for Worlds, but this year there were a lot of unexpected decks that did well at Nationals. Maybe that means this year's Worlds will mainly feature proven archetypes? I personally expect to see a lot of Bronzong decks (both straight Metal and with Rayquaza-EX) as well as a good portion of Seismitoad-EX and Manectric-EX. 

What is your favourite deck?

My favorite decklist from this year is probably when I used Great Ball to win a Cities. 

 

12. Brit Pybas 

 

Where are you from and how long have you been playing?

I am a player from the United States and have been playing for about five-and-a-half years.

How did you earn your points this season?

I did well at all tiers of events, coming close to capping out League Challenges and City Championships as well as winning a States and cutting a Regionals.

Which deck got you most of your points?

The majority of my points were earned with Seismitoad-EX-based decks. 

Which decks do you think will be popular at Worlds?

I expect Manectric-EX to be very popular in Boston.

What is your favourite deck?

My all-time favourite deck would have to be Chandelure/Vileplume from 2012, but currently I am very into Bronzong/Rayquaza-EX.

 

11. Kyle Haverland

 

Hello, and congratulations on making Top 16! Where are you from?

I'm American. 

How long have you been playing Pokémon?

I've played since 2009, so six years now.

How did you earn your points this season?

Most of my points this year have come from Regional and State Championships, which gave me 105 for Third at Wisconsin Regionals, 90 for Second at Iowa States, 75 for Top 8 at Kansas Regionals, and 70 for Third at Kansas States. These gave me 340 of my 677 points. I also received 50 from Nationals, 200 from Cities, and 87 from LCs.

Which deck got you most of your points?

Most of my points came from my Yveltal-EX builds, which was the only deck I played from the start of the season up until Kansas Regionals. My best finish for points this year, however, was Third at Wisconsin Regionals, with Seismitoad EX/Fairybox.

Which decks do you think will be popular at Worlds?

I expect Day 1 and Day 2 to be very different.

Day 1, since you need to Top 64 with 400+ players, players will go for consistent decklists to try to ensure that they can get the X-2 record or better, so I would expect Night March, very simple Seismitoad-EX builds, and Manectric -EX decks.

Day 2, then, will be everyone trying to counter the results from Day 1, and what they have seen from Nationals results, which will most likely result into nothing particular being a very popular deck. It will be a little bit of everything. 

What is your favourite deck?

My favorite deck has to be the one Kolton Day and I built for Wisconsin Regionals. Seismitoad-EX/Fairybox was something no one expected, and it was amazing against all the Seismitoad-EX decks that tried to use Trump Card to just dominate all the matchups with unlimited Hammers and Lasers. 

 

10. Ryan Sabelhaus 

 

Hello, and congratulations on making Top 16! Where are you from?

I'm from the United States, specifically South Carolina.

How long have you been playing Pokémon?

 

I've been playing Pokémon since I was around six years old and have been playing competitively as a Master for about five years.

How did you earn your points this season?

I got my points this year from winning a Regional Championship, getting Second at a States, Top 64 at Nationals, Fourth at a States, First at two City Championships, Top 64 at Worlds last year, Top 16 at another Regionals, and the rest are just League Challenge finishes.

Which deck got you most of your points?

It's actually a little funny, but I've played a different deck at every tournament this season. The only deck that I've earned points with at multiple events was Mega Gardevoir-EX during League Challenges. I've gotten points this year with:

Yveltal-EX/Garbodor
Empoleon/Magnezone
Mega Gardevoir-EX
Primal Groudon-EX
Seismitoad-EX/Slurpuff
Mega Manectric-EX/Ninetales
Lucario-EX/Garbodor
Flareon
Donphan/Primal Groudon-EX
etc. 

Which decks do you think will be popular at Worlds?

I expect Worlds to be very random this year in Boston, but still with a good number of Seismitoad-EX decks. The card is just very good and can be centered in many different decks as the main attacker. 

What is your favourite deck?

I guess my favorite decklist at the time would be Primal Kyogre-EX, as it's very fun to play and got me Second Place during the first week of the Pokémon Elite Championship Series. My decklist is in the most recent article I've done for 60cards.net. 

9. Frank Diaz

 

Hello, and congratulations on making Top 16! Where are you from?

I am a U.S. player. 

How long have you been playing Pokémon?

I've played competitively since the 2003/2004 season, right around the time Nintendo took over organized play.

How did you earn your points this season?

Getting enough points for a Day 2 Worlds invite meant I needed to do well at every type of event throughout the year. The biggest chunk of points I got was from winning Alberta Regionals.  

Which deck got you most of your points?

I played Dark for most of the season. It has been a strong, fast, consistent deck for years and really let me cruise along without excessive work this season. 

Which decks do you think will be popular at Worlds?

Boston is a toss-up. I think I need to be ready for everything, and take info from Day 1 results. 

What is your favourite deck?

My favorite list is the Empoleon/Bronzong deck I played at Worlds 2008. I ended up losing out in Top 8, but Jimmy O'Brien made it to Top 4 with the same 60 cards. It was probably the best deck I've ever played. 

Pokémon (20)
4 Empoleon MD
3 Prinplup DP
4 Piplup DP
3 Bronzong MD
3 Bronzor MD
1 Claydol GE
1 Baltoy GE
1 Unown Q MD

Trainers (24)
4 Celio's Network
4 Roseanne's Research
3 Steven's Advice
3 Copycat
3 Cessation Crystal
3 Rare Candy
2 Warp Point
1 Night Maintenance
1 Moonlight Stadium

Energy (16)
6 Water Energy
4 Call Energy
4 Scramble Energy
1 Double Rainbow Energy
1 Psychic Energy 

8. Sam Chen

Hello, and congratulations on making Top 16! Where are you from?

I was originally born in Taiwan, but I’m also a naturalized Canadian citizen. Because I live in New York, I play Pokémon under the American flag. 

How long have you been playing Pokémon?

I’ve been playing competitively ever since 1999, when the game first came out in North America, but I wasn’t very good until 2003. 

How did you earn your points this season?

I started off the year strong by winning Houston Regionals with Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX/Drifblim and followed it up with a Top 8 at Vancouver Regionals to clinch my Day 1 invite. With 330 points after Fall Regionals, I got another 150 points at Cities and just collected a few points here and there for the rest of the season. 

Which deck got you most of your points?

I’ve gotten points with a lot of decks this season: Manectric-EX, Virzion-EX/Genesect-EX, Yveltal-EX/Garbodor, Fighting/Garbodor, Donphan, Pyroar, Landybats, Aromatisse, Seismitoad-EX/Slurpuff, Exeggutor, and Raichu/Crobat. Overall, I’ve gotten the most points this season with Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX and Donphan (180 points each).

Which decks do you think will be popular at Worlds?

Both Primal Groudon-EX and Kyogre-EX seemed like they would have been decent plays in the U.S. Nationals metagame, so those could be sleeper picks for Boston. Overall, I think that tier-one will mostly remain unchanged from U.S. Nationals. Seismitoad-EX is still good, Manectric-EX is still good, and Metal is still good.

What is your favourite deck?

My favorite decklist all time has to be the Swampert/Wobbuffet list that I won New York States with in 2004. This year, I really enjoyed playing with decks featuring Mega Manetric-EX, including a Fairy toolbox version during Cities and a Rough Seas version during States, Spring Regionals, and Nationals. 

 

Toolbox decks are always fun. I like how I can tech in whatever cards I think I need for the metagame (for example, the Fire Energy is for Charizard-EX to be able to OHKO my opponent's Aegislash-EX).

7. Brandon Cantu

 

Hello, and congratulations on making Top 16! Where are you from and how long have you been playing Pokémon?

Hi my name is Brandon Cantu. I am from San Antonio, Texas and have been playing competitively going on two years now. 

Which deck got you most of your points this season?

I aquired my points with a variety of decks.  I got the most points with TDK by getting Second at Houston Regionals.

Which decks do you think will be popular at Worlds?

I expect to see a lot of Seismitoad-EX decks since it just won U.S. Nationals and is a really strong deck. I do not see it going away anytime soon. 

6. Andrew Estrada

 

Hello, and congratulations on making Top 16! Where are you from?

I am Canadian but I am originally from Guatemala and am of pure Latin American descent. 

How long have you been playing Pokémon?

This is my fifth season playing Pokémon competitively. Some major accomplishments are winning Canadian Nationals back-to-back in 2011 and 2012, and eventually the Masters World Championships in 2014. 

How did you earn your points this season?

Most of my points this season were from States/Provincials and Nationals. 

Which deck got you most of your points?

Virizion-EX/Genesect-EX, old faithful, has granted me the most points this season for sure. I won Indiana States with a 9-0-1 undefeated record with it. 

Which decks do you think will be popular at Worlds?

I expect a lot of Manectric-EX since Seismitoad-EX won U.S. Nationals, and I expect some players to think ahead and possibly play Landorus-EX/Bats or Fighting variants to counter the meta. 

What is your favourite deck?

I don't really have a favorable decklist right now. I'm iffy on everything at the moment, but I would have to say LandyBats if I had to lean towards anything. The deck is just so fast, aggressive, and powerful, so I love it. 

5. Grant Manley 

 

Hello, and congratulations on making Top 16! Where are you from and how long have you been playing Pokémon?

Thanks!  I'm from the U.S.A and I've played competitively since 2012. 

How did you earn your points this season?

Most of my points came from Nationals and 2014 Worlds. I got 300 CP at each of those tournaments. I also got a decent portion from States.

Which deck got you most of your points?

That's hard to say because I always use a different deck. Both Landorus-EX/Toxicroak-EX/techs and Manectric-EX/Empoleon/Garbodor got me 300 CP each, so they're tied. 

Which decks do you think will be popular at Worlds?

I wouldn't predict any specific deck to be popular in Boston, but there is going to be a ton of Metal and Seismitoad-EX, along with some Manectric-EX decks and maybe Primals. My favorite deck list is probably this one, which I used to finish Top 8 at Nationals 2014. 

 

4. Kristy Britton

 

Hello, and congratulations on making Top 16! Where are you from and how long have you been playing Pokémon?

Hello, my name is Kristy Britton. I'm American and I've been playing competitively for three years. This year I was motivated to travel more than previous years because of my strong start from winning the first Regionals in my area. My recent success is thanks to my brother, my testing group, and making the correct deck choices for tournaments.

Which deck got you most of your points this season?

Seismitoad-EX variants have earned me the majority of my points. I received 300 CP from Nationals, 270 CP from Regionals, and 100 CP from States. I placed Top 8 at Nats with Seismitoad-EX/Manectric-EX/Bats, First at Arizona Regionals with Plasma Lugia-EX Day 1 and Pyroar Day 2, and Top 8 and Top 16 at Regionals and First at California States with Seismitoad-EX/Slurpuff. Of course, I have to give credit to Donphan for getting me most of my Cities points. 

Which decks do you think will be popular at Worlds?

I expect Metal variants to be popular in Boston since it took First at Canada Nats and also performed well at U.S. Nats. Metal Variants such as Bronzong/Rayquaza EX, Bronzong/techs, and Bronzong/Klinklang are all strong. 

 

3. Dylan Bryan 

Unfortunately, Dylan was unavailable for an interview. 

Nationals decklist.

Check out the deck analysis.

2. Jason Klaczynski

Unfortunately, Jason was unavailable for an interview. 

Jason's Nationals decklist.

Check out the deck analysis.

1. Chase Moloney 

 

Hello, and congratulations on making Top 16! Where are you from and how long have you been playing Pokémon?

I'm Canadian and have been playing for five years. 

How did you earn your points this season?

Most of my points came from winning Canadian Nationals, two First Places at Regionals, Top 8 at Worlds last year, a couple Cities wins and a few other Top Cuts.

Which deck got you most of your points?

Most of my points came from the Bronzong deck I won Nationals with and various Yveltal-EX variants (160 CP from Cities, Top 8 Regionals, First Place Regionals for Expanded, Top 8 at Worlds 2014). 

Which decks do you think will be popular at Worlds?

I'm really not sure what to expect in Boston yet, but I'm guessing the Seismitoad-EX, Bronzong, and Wailord decks that did well at U.S. Nationals will shape the metagame somewhat. 

Final thoughts

I would like to thank all players for participating and helping me out with this article. I wish all of you the best of luck in Boston! 

Denise 

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