07/10/2016 by Chris Fulop
Hello again everyone, and while this is a bit later than I otherwise wanted, I'm here to write about myexperiences at US Nationals over the Fourth of July weekend! I want to preface this all by firststressing how much of a fun time I had this year. This wound up being one of my favorite Nationals experiences since back when they held the event at the same time as the Origins Gaming Convention. As a person who has a passion for many different games, getting the opportunity to pair Nationals with a convention full of other options always led to an extremely fun experience for me, and once the event was removed from Origins, my overall enjoyment level had gone quite a bit downhill. Ironically, after a 7 year absence, this year also marked the return to Columbus, the home of Origins, so there is quite a bit of nostalgia attached to the whole experience as well.
I thought Columbus was a GREAT location for the tournament. I really enjoyed Indianapolis as a venue as well, but I was getting a bit burnt out on it as well. At the end of the day, both cities provide a great experience for Nationals, I just liked the change of scenery this year. I do not think it is a coincidence that Gen Con ( Indianapolis ) and Origins ( Columbus ) choose these two cities to host some of the largest gaming conventions in the world every year.
From the last number I had thrown around, US Nationals saw roughly 3,500 players attend the event to compete in the TCG, VGC and Pokken Tournament competitions. The sheer amount of players packed into the convention center was crazy. For TCG Masters, we saw over 1,100 players! Despite this, I cannot praise how well the event was run enough. I'll be honest, I was very concerned at first. Thursday evening, one of the first things I heard about was how many players had been turned away from the event as the player cap had been hit. My friend, Tom Dolezal, was one of the players who had been turned away. As someone who arrived on Thursday night well past the end of registration for the evening, I was very lucky I pre-registered online ahead of time...literally 45 minutes before pre-registration closed, on a complete whim, lucky that I made that deadline. To make matters worse, the player meeting was scheduled for 8 am...never a good sign. When I arrived on sight, still pretty much asleep at the wheel, the hall was CRAMMED with disorganized players and I was expecting the worst.
Then the doors opened, and everything changed. Everything was handled quick and efficiently. The tournament started well ahead of our projected schedule ( Which was a bit unfair...with how tournaments had played out recently, our assumed time table was...not kind. ) and all of the games seemed well juggled by the staff. I'm not saying everything was perfect. I am saying that things were run very well, to the point where I feel compelled to go out of my way to thank everyone involved for the experience.
I'm critical of events when they are run poorly, and it is only fair to be complimentary when they are run well, and it would be unfair of me not to praise how well Nationals played out. The event started early. The stream coverage was top notch. The venue was huge. The round turnover was fast. They decided against an extended lunch break ( A decision I was thrilled by ) and the tournament concluded much earlier than I'd have expected. It was also really cool to see the Pokemon Center merch available, even if it did lead to me spending a bit more money than I wanted: If you're going to offer me giant Rayquazas to buy, I'm going to buy giant Rayquazas. There are a few complaints I did have, and I'll get to that eventually.
Anyways, I've been really busy lately, starting my new job at Alter Reality Games. That is part of why this article is a bit later than I wanted: In order to get 4 days off for Nationals, I wound up working pretty much every day since, and haven't had the time to sit down and just focus on writing this. As aresult, as I'm getting situated with the new job, I haven't had as much time to playtest as I'd like going into Nationals, so I made a decision early on in my testing process that I was going to be playing Night March. I knew the deck, I felt that it was the best deck in the format, still ( Even if it is not
the best deck in any given metagame. ) and that I'd be better off overall by focusing on testing one deck extensively than hopping between lists hoping I'd find something slightly better positioned at the risk of actually just ending up ill prepared with a wide swath of average deck choices.
One thing that is important when playing any TCG competitively is to be very honest with yourself regarding where you stand for an event. There are correct choices for a tournament. There will almost always be a "best deck" even if that can't be determined until after the event is in the books. If someone had perfect play skill and perfect foresight, there is a best deck. The reality of the situation is that not every player is going to be able to play perfect, and not every player has the time and resources available for every event to arrive at the perfect deck. If you know going in that your preparation is going to be limited to any degree, adjust your choices around this. If you don't know Expanded as well as you do Standard, don't pick an extremely interactive deck for your Expanded tournament that rewards you for knowing the ins and outs of every matchup while punishing you for unfamiliarity. Play something proactive that is easier to play correctly even if it is a "worse" choice for an expert at Expanded. If you are crunched on testing time, stick to decks you know already, or test decks that fit your preferred playstyle. What the best deck is for a perfect player is not always going to be the same deck that is best for YOU if you are honest about your preparation and ability. I wasn't going in poorly prepared, but I also knew I didn't have the time available to achieve perfect preparation and made concessions to my testing structure accordingly, and I think it paid off for me.
I went in planning to play Night March, with the off chance I'd consider Mega Rayquaza, another deck I was familiar enough with that an audible to it would be defensible. When Mega Rayquaza won Canadian Nationals, though, I took the deck off the table and locked in Night March. Greninja and Mega Rayquaza won Mexican and Canadian Nationals, and fairly or unfairly, were accordingly very hyped leading into the event. I liked my Night March matchup against both. Canada put Ray back on the map. This meant people would gun for it, and it also meant Night March would be able to prey on people who jumped on that wagon. It was the final push needed to assure my deck choice. I knew what archetype I'd play, but I did not know what 60 cards I'd use until Friday morning.
This is the list I wound up sleeving up.
Night March, Nationals
- 4x Pumpkaboo
- 4x Joltik
- 4x Lampent
- 3x Shaymin EX
- 3x Unown
- 1x Marowak
- 1x Gallade
- 2x Professor Sycamore
- 1x N
- 1x Teammates
- 2x Lysandre
- 1x Hex Maniac
- 1x Startling Megaphone
- 1x Maxie's Hidden Ball Trick
- 4x VS Seeker
- 1x Dimension Valley
- 1x Parallel City
- 4x Trainer's Mail
- 4x Puzzle of Time
- 4x Ultra Ball
- 4x Battle Compressor
- 1x Float Stone
- 1x Escape Rope
- 2x Fighting Fury Belt
- 1x Target Whistle
- 4x Double Colorless Energy
The Pokemon were pretty simple. You have the 12 Night Marchers, plus 3 Shaymin EX. I cut the Mew because I was just not that impressed by it. Now don't get me wrong...it isn't that Mew is BAD. Most players wound up using it. The free retreat cost is nice, and it's an additional attacker. I actually kind of hate Dimension Valley, as you'll notice by me running only 1 copy. Between Teammates to get it, and Puzzle of Time to get it back in matchups you need more copies of it, I don't want to pad my deck with 2-3 copies of the card when I don't have to. I had 2 copies initially but split that number with 1 Valley and 1 Parallel City to be able to get rid of dead weight liabilities off my bench. With Teammates and PoT, I felt like I got a lot more mileage off of a split. With less Valley, Mew became a bit worse, and I was tight on space. While a very popular luxury card, I absolutely do consider Mew a luxury card. One of the cute things I liked about Mew that people had done was that they ran a lone basic energy card so that it could use Night March with Valley and Joltik to KO a Giratina. Since I opted for the Gallade/Marowak Maxie gimmick, I didn't need the Giratina counter, so Mew lost a bit of value off my other choices.
The Marowak offered a lot of strength against Giratina and Seismitoad EX. Toad saw a lot more success than I expected, so the choice became even better in retrospect. Gallade offered strength against Jolteon EX, Trevenant, the Dark decks, and N in general. You can beat Jolteon anyways, but its insurance. If you do get Gallade out against Trevenant, the additional draw power it offers lets you function under the lock so much better. The Dark matchups are interesting. Yveltal Zoroark is interesting because they use non-EX attackers to score cheap KOs and actually keep up on the exchange, but if you transition late game to a Gallade, they don't actually have the easy KO on a 150 HP Pokemon that they do on your Night Marchers. It swings that matchup, which is very competitive due to the reprinting of N, into a favorable one.
The biggest issue facing Night March with the release of Fates Collide is the N reprint, and Gallade and the Unowns help combat that a lot. I had 4 Unown, as they kind of took over the Acro Bike spot ( I always liked the redundant consistency the card offered...a lot of players cut them, I was still a fan.) and they also work well with Puzzle of Time for draw power if need be. In a big event I like extra consistency.
The Trainers were pretty set in stone too. There were a few debates I was unsure of going into the tournament. First off, I wasn't sure if I needed 2 Lysandre. You don't -need- the second, but its definitely nice. I've played the deck a ton with 1 copy and its functional, but one of the less addressed matchups in my list had been Trevenant, and the 2nd copy pulls a lot of weight there. I was also torn on 2 Float Stone vs 1 and a Rope. With the Rope, which I settled on ( Thanks Carl Scheu on tipping my hand on that one! ) I could have justified the 1 Lysandre count a bit more if I wanted to. The Rope is just a bit more insurance against Aegislash EX and Jolteon EX, and it just randomly has uses as well. If I'm making the PoT case for a stadium split, I think the logic carries over here as well.
I also was torn between Xerosic and Megaphone. Even now I'm unsure which is better. I mean, Megaphone works better with Puzzle and Teammates, but I'm also now starting to overload my Puzzles, and thats dangerous too. I can't expect them to always do all of my heavy lifting, so maybe Xerosic would be better. Still, with Maxie, less Supporters is better. Also due to Maxie, and Marowak, I care less about being able to strip DDE off a Giratina with Xerosic, so it loses a bit of strength.
The last card in the deck worth discussing is the Target Whistle. Other Night March lists would play it, and the Yveltal Zoroark decks would as well, and as a result, I'd need to be able to keep up on that axis as well since otherwise they can pick at my Shaymins and I couldn't do the same back. I felt by having less Shaymin starts ( due to Unown ) and Parallel City and Target Whistle that I'd have a slight mirror edge. I also had better N game due to Gallade/Unowns than the average Night March list.
In retrospect, and I'm not sure what I would cut for it yet, I'd actually run a 3rd "Float Stone" in my list. Well, I'd go with 2 Stone and 1 Rope. The Rope just randomly had some awesome plays under it's belt this weekend and earned it's keep. With the Unowns, and especially with only 1 Valley, I often needed to fit a switching effect on the first turn to attack since Pumpkaboo wasn't -really- a viable turn 1 attacker all that often. I found myself chasing a switch card a lot.
Anyways, onto the event. I wound up being reasonably rested, for once, and I'm not suggesting a correlation, because I think it had more to do with overall preparation and deck familiarity than anything else, but I felt like I played extremely well at this tournament. I honestly feel like I played the best Pokemon I had in years.
Round 1 Feature Match vs Fairies
I go to sit down at my first match and a judge is waiting there. My match had been selected as one of the feature matches. I'm writing this one off as "I was the only former National Champion at the event who also didn't have any byes". I had the round 2 feature match last year, likely for similar reasons, and I got absolutely rolled by a Toad Crobat deck which just about had it's way with my Landy Bats list.
I was hoping to redeem myself.
My opponent was a girl who was newer to the game, and ran late getting to our table. Luckily it wasn't an issue since we were delayed due to relocating anyways. I had to resleeve my deck ( Free sleeves! ) and my opponent was very open about being nervous for being streamed, so I tried to calm her down somewhat. Which I'm not sure I was any good at, but I tried. There were three feature matches on stage, and our match was not the primary one, so we would only get any actual stream time if the main match finished quickly. I'm pretty sure the extent of my exposure on stream was the occasional background shot of me.
She was playing a Xerneas/Mega Gardevoir deck running Raichu as support. Her start are a bit clunky both games, and Night March does what Night March does, and I just overran her. That is a pretty shallow explanation of how the games went, but it really was just me being faster and preventing her from developing anything. The matchup is really good, even though there are theoretically spots where an Aromatisse can get set up and Max Potion can make getting KOs difficult. That never happened though.
I actually found myself in a sketchy position game 2, where I had to burn a lot of resources to get a turn 1 KO, and my last 2 prizes were my 4th DCE and 4th Puzzle of Time, meaning if she had an Enhanced Hammer on her last turn, she could have left me energyless and been able to win from there. She was playing rather slow due to being newer and nervous, so a third game could have been tough to fit in, too. I dodged that bullet, luckily.
Win, 2-0. ( 1-0 )
Round 2 vs Night March
So I mentioned before how I was really praising the way the tournament was run? Here is one of my complaints. It was extremely loud and extremely busy, and I could never hear when pairings went up.
Pairings also went up online ( I had miserable reception. ) a lot sooner than they did on paper, and they did not give players who had to check the paper pairings enough time to find their seats. I was off on the other side of the room due to being the feature match, and missed the pairings going up for the second round and was like 15 seconds late to round 2, meaning I had to actually win 2 games or face a loss.
I sit down against my opponet, whose name I unfortunately forget because I'd like to compliment him on being an extremely enjoyable person to play against. Honestly, everyone I played this weekend was a great sport and in good spirits despite the stakes of the event. I won the roll, and I choose to go first. Against an unknown opponent it is just necessary. I have to get set up under potential Item Lock.
Against the exchange oriented matchups, I can still focus on getting out a turn 1 Maxie, or setting it up for turn 2. I actually want to test more the validity of going first in mirror now, as it helps get Gallade out, and my build is good at playing the N game to try and come back. It also means I can burn less resources early, which can sometimes bite you.
Of course, I go first in mirror and regret my decision. I'm able to get a KO on his Shaymin EX, but he Teammates for a Target Whistle and Catcher, and hits heads on Catcher to get the KO on my Shaymin he revived to retake the prize lead. I stick him with an N, which he fails to draw out of, and I steal game number one.
Due to the time issue, I just immediately concede game 2 before even drawing a hand. If he wins our second game, the third won't finish, and my draw is a loss. If I had to 2-0 him, I'd rather play my 2nd game while being on the draw. Worth noting is, with how bad a draw is in a 9 round event like this, I think I'd consider conceding the 2nd game even if I wasn't late. I think the increased odds of a clean 3 point win is worth giving up the safety net of a likely "worst case scenario" draw.
Game 2 is very competitive just like the first game. It actually plays out very similarly, where I have a slight lead, and am trying to keep him off balance with N. He hits a Teammates, and gets Target Whistle and Catcher again...second heads on Catcher to KO Shaymin to take the lead. I stick him with another N, he draws out of it, and is able to take a really close win. He needed that Catcher heads, and to hit a few not that easy combination of cards off my Ns, but both game 1 and game "2" were really competitive and enjoyable even if I didn't win. Worth noting, whoever was on the play won both of these
1-2, Loss. ( 1-1 )
Round 3 vs Mega Manectric Jolteon ( 2-0...rope t1 gallade, t1 KO on Manny ex w joltik g2 )
Round 3 I get paired against a Mega Manectric deck. I feel pretty good about this matchup anyways, I can get the necessary KOs and Target Whistle does a lot of work for me. The Gallade is just icing on the cake for me here though. I lose the flip for the first game, and my opponent opens with Manectric EX and benches a Jolteon EX against my Joltik. He gets two Max Elixir to power up Jolteon in one turn, leaving it safely on the bench.
Of course, I wind up pulling off arguably the filthiest first turn I've ever done, getting a turn 1 Gallade, AFTER I managed to Float Stone Joltik, and play Escape Rope. I hit the DCE and get the turn one Gallade KO on his Jolteon EX, and the game is just over. I win 2 turns later.
Game 2 isn't a whole lot better, as I end up with the first turn KO on his Manectric EX with his attachment on it. I actually prized a lot of Night Marchers, and had to dig for my Parallel City to discard a benched Joltik in order to hit for 170 with a Belt. This was a pretty dumb match as I ran very, very well, but the matchup was really good regardless.
2-0, Win. ( 2-1 )
Round 4 vs Trevenant
At this point, I can't really complain about my start. 2-1 is a realistic start to a big tournament, and while I'd love a 3-0 start, I can't be disappointed with 1 loss. My deck also played really well all three rounds for me, and the metagame I'd seen looked really good for me.
For round 3, I lose the opening roll, and stare down a Phantump. Yuck. I addressed earlier the 2nd Lysandre because I felt like I didn't have a lot of extra answers for this difficult matchup, so this was not at all what I wanted to see. My hand was pretty bad...when he got the turn 1 Wally for Trevenant, my hand went from bad to "I literally can play 0 cards from my hand". My plan at this point was to play for a draw. I wanted to force him to win game 1 rather than just move to the next game ( I knew I was not winning game 1. ) and thus if I won game 2 on the play ( I feel pretty favored there. ) then I'd be in great position to prevent game 3 from concluding. I'd much rather be 2-1-1 than 2-2 here as x-1-2 was likely to make t64, where as x-2-1 was likely to miss. Giving myself a draw to give is huge. I hate how much of the strategy of the game now revolves around the time limit, but it is what it is.
I draw enough basics that game 1 eats up like 10 minutes. Game 2, I end up with the first turn Gallade, and actually just completely crush him as my set up was really good. I underestimated just how good this matchup actually is when you go first with a reasonable hand. Game 2 takes about a half hour, meaning the third game would not have a lot of time.
My opponent goes first, and opens with Shaymin EX...he plays a Sycamore...no second basic! He has to pass. I go off, and get the turn 1 Night March KO on Shaymin EX to take the match. I mean, it wasn't that graceful, but I pretty much had a non-starter game 1, and he did game 3. A win is a win, though, I won't argue about it.
2-1, Win. ( 3-1 )
Round 5 vs Yveltal Zoroark
Here is another matchup that is going to be really close. Carl and Kevin Baxter were both playing this deck, and I knew it was a solid choice. It was one of the few decks I thought was a good choice overall, but going back to my self assessment for the event, I knew I wouldn't play it even though I had experience with the deck from Cities. The deck is really reactive and it has a lot of lines it can take at all times. You really need to learn all the matchups pretty intricately to get the most out of the deck's strength.
Game 1, he is able to keep using Oblivion Wing to put energy into play and get KOs on me. I'm one prize ahead, but I end up missing a DCE after an N late game to miss a KO and he jumps ahead on the exchange.
I try and stick an N on him so he can't get a KO on my Shaymin I bench, hoping to set up a Target Whistle/Lysandre KO on him the next turn for the win, but he hits the Lysandre and KO off my N to take a close game 1.
Game 2 I dead draw and he benches me in like 3 turns for a pretty disappointing loss. It actually felt like I lost after game 1 anyways, since I knew I'd be just playing to maybe draw, which is a pretty tough feeling to get used to.
0-2, Loss. ( 3-2 )
Round 6 vs Isaiah Williams with Darkrai Giratina
Isaiah is a player I'd seen posting a lot of good results the past few years, who I'd never gotten to meet before. He is on Darkrai Giratina, so now it was time to see just how much work my Marowak package could do.
Well, it does quite a bit of work, actually. I get the turn 1 Maxie, and the first game is pretty non- competitive at that point. The entire matchup, for him, revolves around Chaos Wheel locking me off of
DCEs as otherwise I just get 3 KOs and win. Since he is unable to get me off DCEs, it is a bit of a sweep.
Game 2 is a bit closer, as I'm not able to get out Marowak early. I took a lead, but he gets Chaos Wheel off, and Garbodor with a Tool on it. I keep forgetting about the Garbodor, but never do anything to mess up the game state. I don't know why I kept tunnel visioning past it, but I did. Eventually I'm able to pair Marowak with Megaphone to get the KO on Giratina and win game 2 as well. ( I tried to attach a DCE due to Marowak while he had Garbodor up, clearly not legal. Oops. )
2-0, Win. ( 4-2 )
Round 7 vs Mega Manectric Raikou ( 2-0 )
This is the point in the tournament where I started to get a bit tired and fatigued, as things began to blur a bit. I was thrilled to see Manectric EX again. I didn't end up seeing a Jolteon EX over the span of two games. I did see Raikou, which doesn't really do that much against me. I get Gallade going the first game, and that just sweeps. The second game, I don't get Gallade out, but Joltik gets there for me anyways. His draws were pretty questionable this match, but he seemed less frustrated than he could have been, as he openly acknowledged after the match that the matchup was pretty bad for him.
2-0, Win. ( 5-2 )
Round 8 vs Trevenant ( 2-0 )
Only 2 more wins needed to make day 2. I really, really liked how my deck had been playing for me, and I felt that a deep run this tournament was really possible if I could make day 2. Unfortunately, I get another Trevenant pairing. I won the roll, and get a good first turn. ( No Gallade this time. ) I talk with my opponent a bunch this game, and he was telling me how he'd only been playing competitively for about a year at this point. I'm able to use Lysandre to just keep access to my Items, and by midgame
I've kept him off of energy in play and he isn't really able to get any forward progress and eventually he is out of Phantumps and we're off to game 2.
Game 2 is one of the grossest things I've seen in Pokemon in a long time. My opponent opens with Phantump, going first, and Battle Compressors away a Wally. He takes an extremely long first turn, burning Trainers Mails, and 2 Shaymin EX, and just sees at least 30 cards, and is still unable to find a single VS Seeker or either of his other two Wally. The odds of him whiffing were just so poor. He also had my favorite line of the whole weekend...I'm seated between old friends John Kettler ( playing another friend...I forget who though! I'm sorry! ) and Tyler Ninomura, so we're all a bit jokey at this point anyways...we had six players, all at x-2 at Nationals, and everyone was in great spirits and having fun and being light hearted. It was quite nice. Anyways, the game state for Kettlers game was really ridiculous, and I make some comment about how out of hand that game was. My opponent drops the mic with "Just like my Wallys. " The whole table cracks up. I cannot stress the degree of sportsmanship shown by being able to take such awful luck at this point in a tournament in as much stride as my opponent did here. Both because of how funny it was, and how good of sportsmanship it was, that will be one of the defining moments from this tournament for me going forward and something that will always remind me while I love this game as much as I do.
Needless to say, I go off on my first turn, and take the game pretty quickly. Had he gotten the first turn Trevenant, and I was unable to pull much off on my first turn, yes, I was going to concede game 2 quickly to try and win game 3 as a draw would just have eliminated both of us from day 2. I also knew my tiebreakers would be absolutely miserable, so if any 19 pointers made day 2, I would not be one of them.
2-0, Win. ( 6-2 )
Round 9 vs Drew Guritzky with Night March
For my win and in, I get paired against my friend Drew. I don't think I've played Drew in a tournament since the first round of Nationals 2005, where I beat his Blaziken deck with my Ludicolo Weezing deck. (For those familiar with the 2005 format...no, Ludicolo Weezing was not good. Hey, sometimes you get lazy when you can coast a season off a Worlds invite from top 4 the year before. ) Drew has really built up quite the resume for himself the past few years, putting up quite a few nice results at tournaments. So on one hand, it was nice to get to play against him again, but on the other hand, I'd much rather play against an easier opponent at this point. So I go to table 12 where we were supposed to play, and we get picked for my 2nd feature match of the day. And by feature match, I mean again we are stuffed off to the side to be background eye candy again. I mean, it is better than nothing at least, right?
Drew and I had spoken enough throughout the day to know quite a bit about each others' decks as well, so when I won the roll, I knew to go second. Unfortunately for me, I open with an Unown, and dig extremely deep to find a Float Stone or Escape Rope, and see about 35 cards and miss it. I wind up burning a ton
of resources, including a pair of Puzzle of Time, to chase the KO, and miss. I make a few attempts at N to make a comeback, but I wound up very light on key resources AND behind on the exchange, and drop the first game.
This is extra unfortunate because it means I am likely playing for at best a draw, and I knew full well that we were not going to let the match resolve on a draw eliminating both of us. If it went to game 3, we'd decide the game based on who was ahead, and with him getting choice of going second game 3 if I force it, he'd almost assuredly be ahead on board as my chance to break serve there would likely be on the back of late game Ns, which won't be tangible when time is called.
Anyways, I go 2nd game 2, and I Sycamore and...kind of just stall out. I miss the DCE, and my draw just kind of falls apart. It is kind of frustrating because my deck had run pretty well...very well, even, almost all tournament, and in back to back games I fail to get my turn 1 attack off in my win and in.
That is really unlikely to have happen, but hey, thats Pokemon sometimes. I'm used to variance by this point. At least if I'm going to lose, a friend gets to make day 2 as a result of it.
0-2, Loss. ( 6-3 )
My tiebreakers were about as miserable as I expected, which was awful, because I wind up in 73rd place in Blue Flight...prizes paid down to 70. Oops.
Anyways, outside of the Float Stone addition, I'm not sure I'd change much. I feel like Trevenant is a favorable matchup for the deck. You are quite favored going first, and with 2 Lysandre, you win more games going 2nd than they do against you.
I'm beginning to think that I want to go first in EVERY matchup now, mirror included. Of the four mirror match games I played, the player going first won. You may give up the first KO, but it gives you a better N game, and you can structure your set up a bit better and use that extra turn to position yourself better to play the Target Whistle game better. With my built, getting Gallade up is really important as well. One thing to address in mirror is that using PoT to grab discarded Shaymins is really useful to avoid being Whistled. Night March mirror actually turned out to be a lot more involved than it was during States where it was very linear and boring.
The Standard format turned out to be rather fun to play, even though I used one of the more toxic decks in Pokemon history. I know Kolton Day used a very similar list to mine and took 9th place at the event, so I do think we were onto something with this. Marowak was dead in all but one of my matches, against Isaiah, but it single handedly won me that match. Gallade and the Unowns were stellar for me all day, and I can't see myself wanting to use any other Night March variant, even though I know the Vespiquen build wound up taking own the whole tournament. I can't take anything away from anyone who takes down a 1,100 person tournament, though.
I would suggest playing a similar build to this for Worlds if it were the same format, but we'll have to see what the next set brings us. I'm pretty confident we'll get Karen printed, which will pretty much put the nail in the coffin for Night March by this point. If that is the case, I'm leaning towards Mega Rayquaza. I'll be sure to write about the Worlds format more once we get a confirmed list of what cards will be legal!
Hopefully everyone had as much fun at Nationals as I did. I've never really been one to have fun when I'm losing, and this was a rare exception. Anyways, to conclude this article, I want to remind everyone about the ARG Circuit Series event in Philly coming up on July 31st! We'll also being having a tournament in August in Providence, Rhode Island on August 14th and in Oklahoma City on September 18th!
Come out and see what the Circuit Series has to offer!
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