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Zahir Hamid

City Championships in South Africa

My Journey through 4 City Championships 2015 in South Africa!

03/27/2015 by Zahir Hamid

Hi Everyone!

Just a quick intro to who I am, I am Zahir Hamid (everyone that knows me usually calls me Zedz though) I am from South Africa. I have been playing the Pokémon TCG again recently since the Dragons Exalted set. My achievements so far have been 3rd place at Nationals 2013, 2 2nd placings at Regionals 2014, 2 1st and 2 2nd placings at Citys 2015 which by the heading I am sure you can guess that's what this is about! I am also a League Owner and a Professor but enough with the introduction lets get going with the Article!!!

So I am going to try and fit 4 short reports of my City Championships in South Africa for 2015

Just something that you should note when reading this article so the numbers make sense is that the game is still growing here in South Africa and we don't have 100-200 player city championships, it is more like around 20-30 players but we are growing into a bigger attendance with each day/month/year that passes by!


City Championships Durban - Exeggcutor/Delphox (31/01/2015)

So going into the 1st City Championships, I wanted to do well because it was my home town here in Durban and I was really hoping to qualify for Worlds this year. but I was undecided what to play but I thought since there was going to be a lot of Donphan ( I thought at least 3-4 people must be playing it at least) so I started testing Fairy (Florges version) so after a bit of testing online I ran into Jason Klaczinsky online and he was playing a weird Exeggcutor deck which I saw for the first time in action and wow did it take me by surprise, sadly I could not find any lists online to help build my skeleton from so I had to start with what I remembered him using against me and build it up from there. I tried it with a lot of different cards like slurpuff/electrode but nothing worked as well as the fox so this is what I ended up with

So the morning finally came and we had 16 Masters which means only Top4, anyway it after a while it was time to start so

Round 1 vs Sheldon Kuppon (Virgen) W

Round 2 vs Sheldon's Cousin (Yveltal/Darkrai/Hydreigon) W

Round 3 vs Daniel Newton (Yveltal/Darkrai - Hard Charm version) L

Round 4 vs Ryan Hodnett (Pyroar/Reshiram) W

Round 5 vs Shivar Rajoo (M Khangeskhan/Fairys) W


Yay! I made cut!


Top4 vs Shandhir Krishna (Yveltal/M Manectric) WW

Finals vs Daniel Newton (Yveltal/Darkrai - Hard Charm) WW


So that went well and I had my first big win of the season putting me on 60/200 (Yes in South Africa, Masters Division Players only need 200 points to qualify this year) strangely enough only 1 Donphan deck ended up being played, it was time to take a day or 2 break and start practicing for the next one as it was the next weekend.


City Championships Johannesburg - Dialga / Bronzong 07/02/2015


So the 6 February came really quickly and I decided to move on from Exeggcutor and one of my friends decided he would use it, unfortunately he did not have enough time to practice and didn't end up doing too well, so anyway it was time for a road trip over 500km away with 2 cars we set out, car 1 had 4 players and we stayed at Sheldon from the first tournaments house and car 2 had 3 players and stayed by some relatives place.  I was informed it was best of 3 swiss and I decided I wanted to try Seismitoad/Slurpuff this time as from supporter lock I wanted to try item lock instead, but it was playing out how I wanted it too and decided to scrap the idea after changing decks a few times at 4AM on Tournament day I decided on Bronzong and Friends, it had pretty solid match ups all around and I was hoping with some skill and luck I could manage to win most games. Here is the list that I settled on.

And after an hour or so of sleep, I was woken up and had to get ready to lock and load, we get there and there is quite a few more players than there was in durban, I think it was around 25 total masters. Here is how the tournament played out.

Round 1 vs Forgotten Name :( (Yveltal//Darkrai/Hydreigon) WW

Round 2 vs Tarryn Raju (Donphan) WW

Round 3 vs Forgotten Name :( (Fairys) WW

So the first 3 rounds have come and gone and I look at the standings and we notice wow the only people sitting on 9 points are from Durban! Woohoo! Go Team Durban!

Round 4 vs Billy Erasmus (Virizion/Genesect/Mega Manectric) ID

Round 5 vs Daniel Newton (Yveltal/Darkrai - with hammers) ID


Im in cut again YAY! Go Zedz!!!


Top 8 vs Billy Erasmus (Virizion/Genesect/Mega Manectric) WW

Top 4 vs Mikyle Raju (Virizion/Genesect) WW

Finals vs Michael Byrne (Mega Manectric/Zapdos/Jynx) LL


So that was a long long day 8 rounds of best of three in one day is no joke I really take my hat off to the guys who play in 250+ 9 swiss rounds to make top 32 for day 2 Regionals in the USA. I'm up to 100 points now! Half way there, and I only need a Regionals top 4 to make it now or a few more league challenge wins and a citys win. Time for another break!


City Championships Pretoria - Night March 28/02/2015

So the time has come for another City Championship and we are off to Pretoria this time, it is about 30 minutes away from Johannesburg so we going to stay by Sheldon again! It is the first weekend that Primal Clash is legal too! I was deciding between Flareon and Night March (oddly enough this was the same weekend Flareon won in Florida but I never even think of using either deck with Empoleon) though I ended up picking Night March as I didn't feel that Flareon had too many benefits over Night March that would help me this weekend. (Boy was I wrong! Haha) so the usual story we stay up late playing cards and at the last minute I decide to build Primal Groudon sadly I was short of a Primal Groudon but I kept it built with hopes of getting one at the tournament before it starts, I try to go to bed earlier this time except I keep getting woken up for my laptop password and other strange stuff by the same friend who took over the Exeggcutor deck, this time after more practice he top 8'd

After what felt like five minutes of sleep it was time to wake up and head off to the tournament, we barely make it for registration and not enough time to look for primal Groudon I decide to just fall back on Night March. This time I think there was just enough Masters for top 8 whew, at least it is back to best of one again. Here is the list


So Time for the tournament to begin and here are the rounds


Round 1 vs Forgotten Name :( (Kyogre/Keldeo/Boufallant) W

Round 2 vs Forgotten Name :( (Virizion/Genesect/Manectric) W

This was about the time I was happy I couldn't find the Primal Groudon!

Round 3 vs Prenesh Naidoo (Seismitoad/Slurpuff) W

Here is where Flareon would have started to being better

Round 4 vs Duncan Keenan-Smith (Aromatisse/Pyroar) L

No My Autoloss! Oh well still one more round to go

Round 5 vs Armand Kruger (Pyroar) ID

No! Not again! I just can't catch a break, or can I, luckily Armand agrees to ID and we both make cut, woohoo! now time for top 8


Top 8 vs Devan Naidoo (Medicham) WLW

Top 4 vs Michael Byrne (Manectric/Landorus) WW

Finals vs Sheldon Kuppon (Mega Gardevoir) WW


I won again! I was extremely happy and that put me on 165 points (I had won a league challenge the weekend before) with a lot of luck I managed to win another City Championships and I could hopefully get the rest of my points from League Challenges. I thought this was the end of my City Championships run for 2015 and I was pretty content with it until . . . .


City Championships Port Elizabeth - Landorus/Bats 14/03/2015


So it was the 10 March and I was busy relaxing having a nice normal day when Michael messages me with the craziest idea of going to Port Elizabeth! I thought he was joking it is 900km away!!! So we both start messing around with the idea of how we know Sheldon is going to be there and we wanted to give him the surprise of his life (I got video footage) so we both finally turn the jokingly discussion into a serious discussion and we decide we going and we going by bus (that is 13 long uncomfortable hellish hours!) but we decide we only live once and we need to do this nobody else decides to come with us this time so I book the tickets and before we know it, it is Friday again this time I saw the Flareon deck and play tested it and was keen to play it as well but I felt like I had passed up Landorus/Bats too many times as well and I need to give it a chance in a tournament (I play tested it a lot but always didn't end up picking it for some reason or the other mainly my indecisiveness) also Michael was playing the Flareon deck so we might as well try 2 different decks, so Friday evening comes and we get to the bus station and hop on the bus and after 13 long hours of starving and a very uncomfortable drive we reach our destination at about 7am and we get off and freshen up at a local mall luckily Mikyle agreed to come and pick us up since he was also attending and we get there and give Sheldon the shock of his life and it was time to play again! Here is the deck list.

I am sure a lot of people recognise this list as it is Andrew Mahone's (I hope I got that name right) list, I had a few different cards initially but this exact 60 cards tested better than the rest so I decided to leave it unchanged. If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it. So after meeting old friend from P.E which I last saw at Nationals last year it was time to begin here is how it went


Round 1 vs Sven Raju (Virizion/Genesect) W

Round 2 vs Forgotten Name :( (Sigilyph/Suicune/Tornadus Ex) W

Round 3 vs Erika Steyn (Donphan/Lucario) W

Round 4 vs Michael Byrne (Flareon/Empoleon) ID

Round 5 vs Sheldon Kuppon (Mega Manectric/Camerupt) W


Swiss is over and I'm 2nd seed in top cut with Michael being 1st yes we finally did it, got 1st and 2nd seed in top cut! Wow that is awesome so we continue

Top8 vs Sheldon Kuppon (Mega Manectric/Camerupt) WW

Top4 vs Erika Steyn (Donphan/Lucario) WW

Wait, what I qualified for Worlds Oh! My! God! lots of congratulations from friends, for being the first Masters Division Player to Qualify for Worlds for 2015!

Finals vs Riaan Steyn (Yveltal/Toad/Garb/Plasma Kyurem) LWL

Wow what a long day but taking another 2nd was amazing and finally qualifying for Worlds after missing it by 2 places in 2013 is really amazing and I can't wait to meet everyone there! Hope I get to vs some of the best players in person and hope I can do well there as well!

Well there you have it, that was my 4000km journey through the City Championship Series in South Africa, I managed to attend 4/7 which is pretty cool! And now finally my long long article has come to a close as I write this just after testing for Regionals at 3AM on Friday morning, though I can't tell you what I am playing I hope I can do well with it and I will be off on another 500km trip to Sheldon's House today.

I hope you enjoyed the article and if I am lucky enough I can win this months competition!



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