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Eye on Japan

Eye on Japan: The Sylveon Girls' Battle

Madoka Uehara talks about her experience at the unique Sylveon Girls' Battle tournament in Japan.

06/16/2016 by Eye on Japan

Hello, 60cards readers! Before I get to the main topic, let me introduce myself. If you've been a longtime fan of 60cards, I bet this isn't the first time I've seen you. My name is Madoka Uehara, a player who lives in Tokyo, Japan. I am in a team called TEAM L.O.L.I, which has had at least one competitor at Worlds every single year. (This year we have 3!)

I personally used to post translated articles from Japanese players, but it became tough for me to post translated articles ever since I started to work for a company. My last post was in 2015 around June, so I guess it's been a year since my last post!

Talking about myself briefly, I was born in Noborito City which is located in Kanagawa prefecture, which is 30 minutes away from the Tokyo area. I've lived in Kumamoto, Tokyo, Geneva in Switzerland, Brasilia in Brazil, Fujisawa and Kanagawa City in the Kanagawa prefecture. The Pokémon games were released when I was 4, but I was never into it until I moved to Brazil. Moreover, I never got the chance to know what "Pokémon" was until I moved to Switzerland when both the TCG and the video games were released. I had actually seen one Pokémon episode before I left Japan, but the Pokémon animations were banned from airing when I was about to watch Pokémon for the second time. The banned episode was the Porygon episode (we call it the "Porygon Shock"), the continuously changing blue and red screen with a flash of Pikachu's thunderbolt made more than 800 children ill, therefore it never aired in other countries or Japan again. I thought that Pokémon would never be aired again when I left Japan, so it was pretty exciting that Pokémon was shipped outside of Japan despite the accident.

My father, who was a diplomat, was also amazed that he found a Japanese animation exported out of Japan, so he bought me the Pokémon Cards we found in a supermarket. That was the very start of my time collecting Pokemon cards. I was 7 by then, and watching the tutoring video, I was able to understand the rules. However, I never had the chance to play the games, mostly because everybody was collecting the cards instead of playing it. Unlike some schools, we weren’t prohibited from bringing Pokémon cards so sometimes my cards were stolen, but I couldn't give up collecting them. 

After I left Switzerland, I moved to Brazil when I was 8. Both English and Portuguese sets were sold until Fossils, but I only saw English sets until Neo Destinies. I don't know what happened to the rest since I left Brazil and came back to Japan when I was 10. 

After I came back to Japan, I bought a few series from Ruby and Sapphire until I was 12, but quit buying them since none of my friends played the Pokémon Trading Card Game in that age. By the time I was 15, I had no interest in the trading card game and I finally sold all of my cards, which I now regret. However, things changed when I became 18...with The Strong Hate towards studying, I started to buy Pokemon Cards, and also found 3 girls who were interested. We were secretly playing it in the cafeteria inside my school, since we were prohibited from bringing stuff that we didn't need when studying. Although I had a strong hate for studying, I was lucky enough to enter one of the high-leveled Universities in Japan, where I eventually encountered many Pokémon pals. If I didn't meet these friends, I wouldn't be translating for 60cards. If I didn't translate for 60cards, then I wouldn't be joining a team--you never know what can happen in life!

So, this was a very long story about myself, but I hope you got a little background--yes, I am totally a rare type of character among Japanese Pokémon card players!

Finally getting on topic, I'll explain what the Sylveon Girls' Battle is. Sylveon Girls' Battle was a side event held during the Blastoise Mega Battle. The Blastoise Mega Battle was a big tournament like Regionals, held in May for five days in total. (This time we had Nagoya, Osaka, Fukuoka, and 2 days in Chiba.) The Top 16 winners in the main tournament each day were invited to play in Day 1 at Worlds, while the Top 8 will compete again for travel award in June. (More about the main tournament will be posted in the near future since I already have my teammates writing about it, so please give me some time to translate them!)

Back to the explanation of Sylveon Girls' Battle, the format was XY-on, and only "female players" were able to compete. There was no age limit to the tournament obviously because there weren't as many female players as men. This was not the first time they had side events for female players only, but it was probably the first time ever that the officials had given out the trophy. Moreover, it was pretty interesting that the officials actually made a special table mat. This tournament was only held in Osaka and the first day of Chiba, so there were only eight trophies given out. SINCE NONE OF MY TEAMMATES THOUGHT THAT I WOULD WIN THE TROPHY, I was eager to win one--I didn't really care which place I finished in, but I just wanted the trophy. 

The preliminary round of the tournament started at 13:40 and was held until 15:40. What we had to do was simple--we had to win as many times as we could in a row! This might seem odd, but because we usually have everything finished in one day and have to finish the whole event by 17:00, we usually have to win our games in a row as quickly as we can until we make cut. In the Sylveon Girls' Battle, the Top 4 players with the most wins played in the second round, which means that if you made the cut, you would win a trophy automatically. I ended up winning 7 times in a row, which was enough for the cut. There were 2 others who also won 7 times in a row, none with 6 wins, and quite a few with 5 wins. Since this tournament wasn't a Swiss round, the ladies with 5 wins had to do rock-paper-scissors for the cut. 

In Japan, usually you can switch your decks in the beginning of each round. I debated whether I should swap my deck, but I didn't since I had many feelings about the deck I used. I ended up losing the first match so I ended up in 3rd Place.

I will share my deck list and tournament reports below.

Deck List


Nothing too special, nor any spicy cards.


Ditto

Ditto was there to counter Zoroak’s Mind Jack, and to force a seven-Prize game. I won’t deny that I hate it when I start with Ditto though.

Red Card & Delinquent

Mega Rayquaza itself is a speedy deck, but reducing the size of my opponent’s hand will help my opponent set up more slowly. These two cards are effective for Night March decks. 

Since this deck doesn’t run any Altaria, Joltik in Night March deck can easily take Mega Rayquaza-EX down. Jolteon-EX may be a perfect card to prevent any damage from Night March but Night March is such a quick deck that Jolteon-EX can be KO’d before it gets set up. Remember that there isn't any Energy acceleration for Jolteon-EX, so it would take at least two turns to get set up.

Also, reducing the size of your opponent’s hand can put pressure on your opponent, maybe enough to donk your opponent.

No Zoroark

Debating whether I should take Ditto and another card out, I decided against running the Zoroak line since I hate running 1-1 lines in my decks. 

Tournament Report

As I have reported above, I used this deck for both the primary round and the secondary round. Since I didn't have much time to practice, I debated using either the Greninjya BREAK deck or the Mega Rayquaza deck. I've been using both of the decks in local tournaments, and whether I won or lost, I realized that most of the other players were still playing after my match was over whenever I used Mega Rayquaza. On the other hand, whenever I used Greninja BREAK, I was always likely to be the last player to finish and many players were around me watching the game.

The tournament format forced me to use a quick deck because I had to win as many times in a row, so I concluded that M Rayquaza was the only choice.

Tournament Report

Round 1: Fairy/Mewtwo-EX

Not having a good hand, I had a little difficulty trying to KO Mewtwo-EX. I was trying to play around Mewtwo's Damage Change, so I was trying not to put too much damage on it. It didn't take too long to get Mewtwo Mega evoled, so I waited until I drew a Sky Field and a Hoopa-EX so that I could KO it in one hit. Other than Mewtwo-EX, I saw a Xerneas-EX and and a few Fairy attackers, but it wasn't a hard game after I got a Mega Rayquaza ready. 

Round 2: Gengar/Gengar-EX/Mewtwo-EX

Having a terrible hand, that there was nothing I could do but wish I could draw something that would help me out. Flipping over our Actives, I saw a Mewtwo-EX as my opponent's Active, a Gengar-EX, and a Gastly on the Bench. "YIKES!" I thought to myself. If my opponent had a really good hand, then she would be knocking out three Pokémon-EX and I would lose the game in no time. However, she just attached a Mystery Energy to Mewtwo-EX, and said "go". I noticed that she also didn't have a good hand. I drew a card from my deck, which didn't help me a bit, attached an Energy and ended my turn. Now, that was a very bad mistake since I had a Xerosic in my hand and didn't have any other Supporters, and maybe I should have Mega Evolved.

We both struggled until I drew an Ultra Ball and reached for a Shaymin-EX, and got Mega Rayquaza ready. Luckily, I was able to KO Gastly (or maybe Haunter) before it evolved to Gengar. Emerald Break took all of my opponent's Pokémon down before it was too late, leading me to the second victory.

Round 3: Darkrai/Giratina

This game was the toughest game I had. Both Giratina's attack and Ability make a hard game for M Rayquaza, since this deck relies on Double Dragon Energy. However, since my opponent didn't run any Evolved Pokémon, I was able to take a big chance by playing Jolteon-EX and also being able to play first. My opponent was playing Hydreigon-EX so my Jolteon-EX was KO'd in 2 turns, but it didn't hurt me too much since I was able to strike back with Mega Rayquaza-EX. Also, that Hydreigon-EX had 2 Double Dragon Energy attached so it made it difficult to get Darkrai-EX pumped and for Giratina-EX to attack. I also succeeded in discarding a Double Dragon Energy attached to Giratina-EX with Xerosic, probably her last Double Dragon Energy since she sighed. I took down another Giratina-EX and a Shaymin-EX for a win, but it was a close game since my Opponent had only two Prizes left.

Round 4: Tynamo(?)

This girl probably wasn't really used to big tournaments. I went second, and her turn ended by attaching an Energy to her lone Tynamo. I couldn't get a turn-one Emerald Break, but I got 5 Pokémon on the Bench with some Energy attached. Since Mega Rayquaza decks rely on Items, my opponent was freaked out by how many cards I played in one turn. She didn't get another Pokémon out, so I was able to KO it on my second turn. I kind of felt bad that we didn't have a long game and she was also frightened. (I hope she comes to the official tournament again.)

Round 5: Zygarde-EX/Regirock-EX/Carbink

Getting a good start, I was able to set up 2 Mega Rayquaza that could attack. Luckily enough, my opponent attached a Focus Band once, and I got a good tempo with VS Seeker and a Lysandre, and KO’d three Pokémon-EX in total for my 5th victory.

Round 6: Altaria-EX/Trevenant

By the time I got to the 6th game, the staff told me that I needed to play games against players who had been winning in a row, since the reception time had ended. I was able to tell that I was playing against this deck because I had little time to wait and had a chance to look around what decks were being played. I saw a Greninja deck I didn’t want to play since I never had a match against Greninja when using Rayquaza deck. 

The staff guided me to a table, where a pretty mother was playing a Trevenant deck--I was a little relieved that I didn’t have to play against Greninja at this point. I actually had a fun, chit-chatting game with her, though she had a terrible hand. I didn’t have much trouble so I got a win again.

Round 7: Greninja

The last game I had was a mother player who had two sons playing in Junior Division. I was trying to play fast, but because I wasn’t used to playing against Greninja, I noticed that I was playing slower than any other games. I was able to get a win, but I was very tired at that time. 

Having 7 wins made me pretty confident that I could make the cut at this point. Players who had more than 4 wins were told to gather around to see who can move up to the second round. As a conclusion, the highest number of wins was 7, so I was able to play in the second round, satisfied with my performance since I won a trophy for the first time.

Second Round

Round 1: Greninja

Already satisfied with the fact that I won a trophy (the tournament results didn't matter for Worlds either), I was already out of concentration. I was able to swap decks, but decided not to.

Flipping our Actives over and seeing a Froakie was a disaster. I had already had enough of Greninja in the last game in the First Round. I had a terrible hand from the start, with no Supporters. I was finally able to draw a Professor Sycamore in my second turn, but I had 3 Golden VS Seekers in my hand with 3 Lightning Energy and a Mega Turbo when I used it. Since I had my N in the Prizes, I was completely puzzled--there’s no way I would discard all of my VS Seekers. On my next turn, I drew an Ultra Ball so I pulled out a Shaymin-EX, used Red Card and Deliquent, but it didn’t help anything at all since my opponent had a Professor Sycamore in her hand. I kept on hitting Hex Maniac and had a good tempo until I accidently used Escape Rope, sending a healthy Greninja to the Bench. Of course in return, Shadow Stitching and Water Shuriken KO’d my Rayquaza-EX, and since there weren’t any other Mega Rayquaza-EX ready, I automatically lost the game.

Conclusion

Since it was my first time winning a trophy, it was a very big success for me. Previously, I was not so eager about winning, but this experience made me feel that I should be putting more effort into winning. I would like to thank all of the readers for reading my article, hope to see you pretty soon with translations.

Stay tuned!

[+18] okko


 

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