From Wannabe to Professional – Asia Pacific Circuit Top 2 Report

Hello and thank you for clicking into this report. My name is Phil Nguyen, also known as Boomguy. I am a 27-year-old part time professional Pokémon VGC player from Brisbane, Australia. OK, so what I don’t get paid to play Pokémon video games but I treat it as my profession so I can become the World Champion.

Most of us on this website dream to be the Pokémon world champion so we can achieve the childhood dream of being a Pokémon Master recognized by the Pokémon Company Hall of Fame. Some of you may know me from my previous report in October 2014, followed me on Twitter, seen me stream on my Twitch channel, moderate the VGC chat room on Pokémon Showdown or maybe you heard me shout out “C’MON!!” at live Pokémon events! Yeah, that was me at Australia, Singapore & 2014 Worlds.

In this report I will go through a brief story of my online and Regional events at the beginning of the VGC 2015 Season where I was in a really dark place with depression. Then I will show you how I turned my season around for the better at the most important national events where I qualified for the paid invite for the 2015 VGC World Championships.

Quick jump using the links below

Goals for VGC 2015

So with the debut of the Championship Points system in the Asia Pacific region, (not including Japan or Korea) for VGC where the top 18 players get invited to the World Championships and the top 2 get paid invites. I was going to do what ever it took to be in the top 18 at least. I also wanted to qualify for the Nugget Bridge Invitational again and win the Nugget Bridge Major. My qualification for the Nugget Bridge Invitational this season was going to be a difficult challenge for me, as all the live events were now Swiss tournaments during the weekends, which take 3-4 hours to complete. With my work schedule I was only able to play a live event every 2 weeks, so my best chance of qualifying was through the Major or the Dodrio Cup.

ORAS Release & the Rest of 2014

In the previous report I did say I was only going to play ORAS for a week to set up breeding in this game and soft resetting for the good legendary Pokémon for the VGC 2015 format. Well that didn’t happen because I forgot it’s not best to do a career move during December and the 1st week of the new year, so I stayed at my current job during that period. So I continued playing by testing the new Mega Pokémon and played the Nugget Bridge Circuit online tournaments during December. I had a horrible start of the circuit, bubbling out in a live tournament and a 2-10 record in the Holiday Scramble challenge using a Whimsicott, Terrakion team with Mega Houndoom.

VGC 2015 Team Building Evolution

In the 2014 Season all the teams I used were with Pokémon that were different, Pokémon that I like and Pokémon that can deal with the metagame. Then my team building went to Pokémon I liked with Pokémon that were good. However I went backwards in January, picking Pokémon I liked plus I liked to be tricky on some Pokémon sets. At one point I had a team with Mienshao with Regenerator, Thundurus I, Mega Abomasnow, Heatran, Swampert & Cresselia with Trick Room. This team did work in a best of 1 format on Battle Spot, especially against the good players like Billa and Bopper who I defeated on Battle Spot, but it unfortunately didn’t work against some oblivious people who don’t know that Mienshao’s most common ability is Inner Focus, and they Fake it Out and I lose the game. So that made me realize to not use the tricky stuff at an open tournament where there is more newbies than good players, especially in Australia.

My next team creation didn’t get any better. It contained Aegislash, Milotic, Staraptor, Mega Heracross, Entei and Parchirisu. While I was playing with this team on Pokémon Showdown, a wonderful man from Switzerland named Daryl Sprenger (Dr Sugus) who took interest on what I was using and we helped each other build this team to it’s potential. Whilst he was finding success with the team at his local Premier Challenge events in Europe, I found that it instantly failed against the inexperienced players at a local Brisbane Bisharps January VGC event where there were no points on offer. I kept trying to use the team due to Daryl’s success but I didn’t feel comfortable playing with it because most of the Pokémon were slow.

With the struggle of creating teams and with the Nugget Bridge Major about to start in February, I decided to play with the standard Pokémon so I can get an understanding on why they are popular and what other trainers were using to counter them. I used Mega Kangaskhan, Choice scarf Landorus, Bulky Thundurus-I with Sitrus Berry, Sash Bisharp and Life Orb mixed Blaziken. I left the 6th slot open to anything because I was struggling to find a good fit. By using this team my results on Pokémon Showdown and Battle spot started to improve and my knowledge for the metagame grew. So I decided to use the Kanga & Friends team for the Nugget Bridge Major because it was good for thrashing the newbies and it was good enough to challenge the good players, as the Nugget Bridge Major is an online 3-month tournament where it takes 1 week to complete a round.

Let the real VGC 2015 Competition Begin

The first major tournament of my VGC 2015 season was the Nugget Bridge Major in the beginning of February. The tournament attracted over 1000 players worldwide and the tournament was split into 4 groups playing 9 rounds of Swiss. I was excited to play a tournament this big and I wanted to test myself against the world. By the time the tournament started, my 6th Pokémon on this team was a Cloud Nine Golduck to counter weather teams as I had a huge weakness to them. My opponent for round 1 was YouTuber Nipps from New York. Nipps is generally an entertainer more than a serious Pokémon player and he got a real taste of playing a world quality professional player as I gave him his most depressing 2-0 thrashing loss, which you can watch here. Prior to our scheduled match I was watching his YouTube videos and took notes on how he battled which helped me dominate him.

Back at home the Brisbane Bisharps hosted another VGC throwdown in February. By this tournament the 6th Pokémon changed to Mega Latios so I was running dual megas in a team for the first time in my VGC competitive life. The reason for changing Golduck to Mega Latios was because it wasn’t doing well against the weather teams and Latios has good bulk and offense to survive the weather matchup. This event was the event to test my local city of how it can handle the most standard Pokémon in the metagame. They handled it really well since most of my matches gave me a good test as I lost 2 games in the Swiss rounds including to fellow 2015 Worlds qualifier mustytkd. I made the best of 3 top cut and won my first match 2-0. Then I took revenge against Musty in the semis and took out a hard fought 2-1 final victory against an anti-meta team.

Round 2 of the Major took me to Indonesia and some information from lolfailsnail helped me take a 2-0 victory as he lost to my opponent in round 1. Round 3 took me to Chile where I played SebaGomez, and this was when I started streaming. Seba likes to put on a show and I think his nerves got to him as he lost to me 2-0. I thought I considered myself lucky for avoiding a well-known player but that all ended in round 4 as I took on German Lajos Kowalewski. This was going to be a tough battle against a player who I admire as a player I look up to. When I know I have tough competitor in front of me I repeat this quote “To be the best. You have to beat the best”. This quote helps me take on the challenge as it makes me believe that I am the best. I saved this battle on my Twitch channel here to remind myself of this moment. In turn 1 of game 1 I was so nervous that I ran out of time but I was happy how I almost recovered to save the game, however the Assault Vest Conkeldurr was so bulky that it survived Mega Latios’ Psychic. In game 2 my fear got in the way; I didn’t stick to a game plan and he dominated the match and I suffered my first loss for the Major.

With my newfound understanding of the metagame, I decided to create a 2nd team just in case I was playing someone who wanted to build a counter team to my main team for Nugget Bridge Major. What I learnt about most of the popular Pokémon is that, they are strong offensively and defensively and with the right support they can create pressure. So I decided to test what I learnt into a fun team for The February International Challenge, which was the perfect tournament to test a new team as there were no points on offer. This is what the team looked like for the tournament.

2015_phil_1
I won’t go in depth with the team as a whole but I’ll explain the reason for Mega Audino. I tested Mega Audino when I finished the ORAS story, and back then I made Mega Audino supportive with Trick Room, which didn’t work. I wanted to re-test it and this time I made an offensive set. I realised that Mega Audino is one of those Pokémon that doesn’t need protect as it’s really bulky and I was using Draining Kiss to recover HP. I put Hyper Beam to get KOs on Pokémon, Fire Blast to help damage Steel types and Calm Mind to increase it’s bulk and offensive pressure. What I found with Mega Audino is, yes it can take attacks well and do some decent damage & potentially recover HP from Draining Kiss, but the problems I found were that getting critical hits against me really hurt Mega Audino, and without Calm Mind set ups it was hard to deal good damage so it was similar to a Cresselia. There were multiple games where I couldn’t bring Mega Audino. In the International Challenge I finished with a 19-11 record. I also used this team in March’s Brisbane Bisharps event as a joke because I didn’t want to win again. I did put one change to the team; I put Icy Wind on Ludicolo for speed control; and surprisingly I won the event. It was my birthday weekend during the March Brisbane Bisharps event, so after that I had a laser tag party afterwards with my fellow Pokémon players and friends outside of this game.

So going into my 5th round match against Colombian Albus Magus it was the day after my party. I was using my Kanga team and I was mentally fatigued in our battle so I didn’t have the brain power to figure out a strategy for game 2 after learning his Specs Sylveon was max Speed Timid since it outsped my Adamant max Speed Bisharp, and so I lost games 1 and 2. So I was in a familiar spot from last year’s Major where I lost my 2 matches at the same stage, and the fight to stay alive got scary in round 6 when I was paired up with a Japanese player. The game was played at midnight my time so I got a coffee at night to make sure I was mentally aware for the do or die match. I won the game after losing game 1, adjusting to win game 2, and then winning game 3 with some gutsy calls that worked.

Round 7 was against American LPFan which certainly made making the cut harder. I was considering using a different team for this battle because I know LPFan knows who I am and may potentially counter-team me even though he has never done that before. By the time we had our battle I ended up using the Kanga team because I wasn’t confident in the 2nd team and I didn’t want to risk it since I was fighting for my survival in the tournament. I lost game 1, LPFan disconnected in game 2 and RNG was too kind to me in game 3.

In round 8 I played against American LudiImpact, and again, similar to playing LPFan, I knew he knew me, and this time I had a 2nd team ready. In this secondary team I wanted to include my favourite Pokémon Delphox, which is a real difficult thing to do, but I managed to build a team that I was satisfied with. The 2nd team contained Life Orb Delphox, Mega Salamance, Clefairy, Roserade with HP ground and Expert Belt, Sitrus Berry Swampert, and Sash Bisharp. Once again I lost in game 1 learning about his team. In game 2 I disconnected so by the rules that means I lose but LudiImpact was a champion and allowed a replay to the same conditions as we left off. So upon resumption I won game 2 and in game 3 he brought his Perish Trap mode. He successfully Perish Trapped my first 2 Pokémon but I knew I could still win the match with my last 2 Pokémon. However, I forgot he had 3 Pokémon left and I ignored his Politoed because I didn’t think it was a threat but he proceeded to Perish Song my last 2 Pokémon and he managed to survive at the end of the song. I didn’t regret my Pokémon choices; it was my own battling that let me down and this is something I really wanted to improve on.

Let the Championship Point Hunger Games Begin

The first Australian/New Zealand CP events started with the Regional circuit in April, and there were 6 Regional events in 6 weekends in a row! So after looking at my work schedule and finances I booked myself for 4/6 Regional events to give myself 1 event buffer in case failed badly at 1 of the 4 events, as there is a Best Finish Limit of 3 for Regional events. I was scheduled to work at the first Regional event in my home city in Brisbane but managed to make a deal with one of my co-workers so I had to work the day after the Sydney Regional the week after in order to go to the Brisbane Regional, which I didn’t want to miss because I want to reclaim my home title that I won in 2013 when VGC officially first started in Australia.

I planned to use my Kanga & Friends team at the Regional, but I replaced Mega Latios for the good old Calm Mind Moonlight stalling Cresselia since our Regional events are untethered. Thanks to Dawg for this advice. Days before the Regional I played my 9th round dead match of the Nugget Bridge Major with the Regional team against Brazilian Henricosta and I defeated him 2-0, so I was feeling confident prior to the event.

At the event there were 7 rounds of Swiss. I won my first 3 matches and then lost to a Quash Sableye team in round 4. I managed to recover and win rounds 5 & 6. My round 6 match was a carbon copy of my round 4 match that I lost to because the 2 players are friends. In the last round I was paired down and lost that match and bubbled out of the top 8 cut finishing 9th. If I had won the match no x-2’s would make the cut.

Going into the next regional event Sydney I was starting to lose confidence in the team I used in Brisbane and I wanted to use the Delphox team because I was getting better results in practice. But I stuck to my theory that standard Pokémon will be best against Australians and it was half right. At this event there were 8 rounds of best-of-1 Swiss and the quality of players was much stronger than my home city. In round 1 I was paired against a player I knew that likes to use anti-meta Pokémon. He would’ve defeated me if Will-O-wisp hit me, and I won the 50/50 mind game with Sucker Punch. Round 2 was an easy win as my opponent had no answer to Blaziken, but in round 3 I got a real challenge against the eventual champion Daniel Pol (Chiron). I got thrashed in 5 turns; I was not expecting Trick Room from a Cresselia when at the time most were using Icy Wind or Thunder Wave for speed control. I recovered in round 4 to get a win but after returning from lunch break I lost in round 5 to a level 1 Aron/Sandstorm team followed by another loss in round 6 to heavy rain. I continued playing in the tournament in hope I can finish in the top 32, which I did by winning my last 2 games.

My next CP event was the April International Challenge. I was so frustrated about my poor result in Sydney that I wanted to make another team that is suited for best of 1 format and something I would use in my next Regional event in Melbourne. Some of you may remember me streaming my IC run on my Twitch stream; this is the team I used for the competition.

2015_phil_2
So it was another disappointing tournament as I went 20-10 at the tournament with a ranking of 583rd in the world. Looking at the team now it was poorly built because there was no speed control, although surprisingly I did get to a final of a side event at Australian Nationals losing to Chris G’s (TheBatman) real team.

So it was back to the drawing board again, building a new team for the Melbourne Regional, which is on the weekend after the International Challenge, and I was really struggling to find a new team. When the International Challenge results came out, I saw that my best American fan & friend Legacy finished 4th overall in the International Challenge. So I asked him for a copy of his team, got testing & made minor adjustments. The team was Mega Kanga, Sitrus Berry Suicune with Tailwind, Sub Lefties Heatran, Specs Sylveon, Breloom and AV Lando. The minor change I made was increasing Sylveon’s speed to outspeed Terrakion in Tailwind since his IC spread just outsped max Speed Mega Kanga in Tailwind. I really liked what I saw and I grew comfortable with the team quickly so my confidence was back on a high going into the Melbourne Regional, which is where Australia’s largest Pokémon community is.

Going into the Regional with the 4th best team in the western world in a best of 1 tournament that only just happened last weekend and none of my Australian rivals knew what a powerful team I have in my game, I was thinking this tournament is going to be mine. What could possibly stop me? While waiting for our round 1 matches to start, my opponent Zak Tober (Zakdos), who knew who I was, but I only recognized his name through Facebook posts in Australian groups, said to me “I’m about to get a thrashing am I?” in an most deflated voice. So I was feeling good that I was going to win my first game when you got an opponent with no confidence in himself. Once the battle started he made an excellent call by Earthquaking with his Choice Scarf Metagross against my Kanga and Sylveon, which I had swapped into Heatran, but it survived. But things went downhill as he set up Trick Room on his Trevenant and I couldn’t recover. I was so upset that I slammed my fist onto the table in disgust that I got outplayed by an inexperienced player. Turns out he went 7-1 in the end finishing 2nd in Swiss.

I was still angry with myself after the match. Everyone could see in my face that my ego was damaged. When round 2 was posted I recouped myself as it was still possible to make top cut as long as I win all my matches. My round 2 opponent was a complete random to me and he had a fairly decent looking team on preview. I got myself in a commanding lead setting up Tailwind and getting myself to +2 attack on Kanga with his Terrakion KOed and his Aegi behind a sub who wouldn’t like to be snarled. In the next turn he Protected his Raikou from getting KOed by Kanga but my Snarl missed his Aegislash and it proceeded to KO my Kanga which I was fine with because I had Lando in the back and Tailwind is up. Sending in my Lando I was 100% sure he wouldn’t have Wide Guard on Aegislash because he already revealed Substitute and Flash cannon so surely his last 2 moves were King Shield and Shadow ball. Also, since my team had zero Earthquake-immune partners surely he wouldn’t think I would be crazy enough to Earthquake my team mate. Then I got the shock of my life: he DID have and use Wide Guard, and KOed my Suicune, and then I got to see the Shadow Ball the turn after. So I lost to a King’s Shieldless Aegislash. I got full on depressed with tears after that match because I knew my tournament was over. Cutting at 0-2 is near impossible and I didn’t believe he was good enough to get more wins to make my resistance good.

I told Legacy the bad news online, put my hoodie up, ran off to a place where I wanted to be alone and no-one could see me crying. Not only I was upset at my loss but I was really down with how my season was going in general because I had achieved just average and bad results. My ego took a huge bruising and I was just lost mentally. I kept saying that I suck, I’m not good enough, I am a loser and whatever negative self talk you can think of. I decided to play on in an attempt to get some points from the event. Going into round 3 I had my hoodie up looking and feeling deflated sitting at the back tables alone while all my friends were at the front tables because they were winning. Prior to the start of the match my friend Jesse walked past me and saw the distraught look on my face. So he tried to cheer me up saying “It’s OK”, I snapped back at him and said “It’s over. I cannot make the top cut now with 2 losses already”. I was facing another Trick Room team in round 3 and with the mental state I was in, I proceeded to lose the match and of course I wanted to get away to hide myself from the public and cry.

It didn’t take long for my friends to know what happened to me. First FamousDeaf saw me crying at the spot I chose to hide and asked if I was OK (in my best attempt in translating sign language). Then when I got up to play round 4, walked into the playing area and I saw Luke (Dawg) & Bockers (Zyihk) along the way. Luke surprised me with a hug to cheer me up. It was good to know that I had people to cheer me up. In Round 4 I defeated my mate Jesse’s girlfriend Samantha, then we had a lunch break. After the match Jesse and Sam talked to me to snap me out of my depression, which I really appreciated. One of the keys things to beat depression is to think about others and help them. At the lunch break I saw Bargens and he was really looking defeated after losing the previous round. So we chatted about his previous match, talked about what he can do for future matches and I reassured him that he is a good player. Looks the pep talk did the trick because he didn’t lose another Swiss match defeating Lejn in the final round.

My mood was slightly lifted afterward but I still didn’t want to be in human contact, but then Jesse saw me sitting alone. So he invited me to sit with him to have a chat which helped lift my mood a little. Without Jesse caring for me who knows what could have happened to me? So I thank him from the bottom my heart for helping me get out of the darkness and checking up on me throughout the event. I did get one good feel good story at the tournament. I thrashed Yourf in our 6th round match by making gutsy plays at the start of the match that paid off. I consider Yourf my greatest threat mentally because he is very smart and is mentally strong since he can play very good mind games.

On the plane ride home I was again depressed about my season because you have too much alone time on flights and I had invested a lot of time into the game with very little reward. So I got home called in sick from work the next day because I got home late and I was really depressed. Things didn’t improve the next day at home because I had no energy for my life. Going into work the next morning my fellow co-workers saw me depressed about my weekend. As I was doing my job caring for others problems and solving them, by the end of the shift my mood improved dramatically and I had energy for my life again.

When I got home from work I went though my collection of business improvement books and I decided to start a reading habit of a chapter a day. So I started reading a new book called “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth” by John Maxwell. By reading the first chapter that night it opened my mind and inspired me for my future as a Professional Pokémon player. I also restarted listening to some business talks from various entrepreneurs and coaches around the world. That night I choose to listen to a series called “Overcoming Temptation of leadership”. It made me realize why my season was average and also learnt what let me down during the Melbourne Regional. These were things I learnt from my season:

  1. I was assuming I was going to succeed automatically and easily, just because I had some experience of success in the past
  2. My pride literally killed me in Melbourne regional. It’s good to have confidence but it is dangerous to have too much confidence where you become too arrogant and lazy to improve because you feel like you don’t need to learn.
  3. My battling skill is still my biggest weakness and I need to commit to a growth plan.

2015_phil_3So I went into action to improve myself everyday by first of all changing the way I think about life. I deleted the word ‘easy’ from my vocabulary because everything we want in life will be hard. The other mental change I needed to do was to balance confidence and not get arrogant and also committed reading a chapter each day and applying each law into my Pokémon profession. I also limited my Battle Spot to 8 battles a day, and made sure I was playing like I was in a tournament with a notepad and seated the same way.

I kept using Legacy’s team because I still believed that the team was good and I really thought the team was good for the current metagame. Everyday I was starting to see small improvements that 1 week into my growth the 9th season of Battle Spot ended and I finished in the Worlds top 100 for the very first time of my playing career, defeating a mirror match against Legacy and Portuguese player EmbC as my last 2 matches of the season. I was getting excited to test the new and improved Phil at the Adelaide regional that weekend.

Even at Adelaide I made sure I committed myself to growing so I read my book early in the morning I only played 1 or 2 matches on Battle spot prior to leaving for the Regional event. At the Regional we played 7 rounds of Swiss. I won my first match 4-0, but then going into round 2 my assumption of my +2 Return Kang can OHKO Cresselia almost killed me because it lived the attack, but it stayed sleeping so I won the match in the end thanks RNG. In round 3 against Luke (Dawg) the hax was in my favor as I froze his Amoonguss and it never thawed. Luke tried to Swagger me to win the game but to no avail. Round 4 was against Bailey (Bargens) and our teams almost mirrored. However, Bailey outplayed me and I brought the wrong Pokémon. In the fifth round I took on Chris Gisgozoglou (TheBatman) and I did have a good start against him but a few wrong moves cost me the match. So mentally I was a mess going into the next round, but I refocused to win the match with my newly learnt skills of how damage calculation works. I learnt that Sylveons Pixilate Hyper Beam does more damage than Shadow Ball to a Charizard Y. In the final round I played against Nathan (Cappa) and played the most perfect match against him. I finished 5-2 and bubbled at 9th for the 2nd time this season scoring 110 CP from the Regional circuit.

Bubbling again did kind of hurt me but at least it was better than my Brisbane Regional 9th and at least I was growing as a trainer, so that was more important to me. I spent the rest of the weekend watching the German Nationals and Utah Regional in the USA to get inspiration and watch how others battle, which is important for development as a player. On Monday night the pain of my Regional failure was still lingering so I spoke to my mate Jesse, who helped with my depression in Melbourne, about how I was feeling because I didn’t want to keep it to myself and I knew he cared about me. He showed me this video to keep me inspired and I suggest everyone to watch it.

The Completed Team

kangaskhan-mega

Kangaskhan @ Kangaskhanite
Ability: Scrappy
Level: 50
EVs: 36 HP / 140 Atk / 76 Def / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Fake Out
– Sucker Punch
– Return
– Power-Up Punch

This is the original spread that Legacy used in the April IC. This spread was very good especially against Kangaskhan mirror matches where I got good at recognizing the opponents’ Kangaskhan’s spreads. We noticed in the April IC stats that more Kangas were Adamant than Jolly, so when I get into a mirror match I have the confidence that my Kanga is going to be faster. The Jolly nature also surprised some opponents because usually when you see Kanga in a Tailwind team you assume it’s Adamant Bulky Kang. This spread also helped against Tailwind mirror matches. As for the defensive EV’s, it helped against the Jolly Kanga mirror match as it can survive Low Kick from Jolly Kangs and if the other Kanga gets a KO using Low Kick then that means it’s Adamant nature. I can also survive max Attack Landorus’ Superpower:

  • 252 Atk Parental Bond Mega Kangaskhan Low Kick (100 BP) vs. 36 HP / 76 Def Mega Kangaskhan: 154-184 (83.2 – 99.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO
  • 252+ Atk Landorus-T Superpower vs. 36 HP / 76 Def Mega Kangaskhan: 150-178 (81 – 96.2%) — guaranteed 2HKO

breloom

Breloom @ Focus Sash
Ability: Technician
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Protect
– Spore
– Mach Punch
– Bullet Seed

Basic Breloom common spread. Breloom was one of my outs for Trick Room. Fast Spores provide great offensive pressure. With Rage Powder being a common redirector, Breloom was a good threat against its partners.

suicune

Suicune @ Sitrus Berry
Ability: Pressure
Level: 50
EVs: 244 HP / 100 Def / 108 SpA / 20 SpD / 36 Spe
Bold Nature
– Tailwind
– Snarl
– Scald
– Ice Beam

The Speed stat is designed to outspeed a Choice Scarf Adamant Lando under Tailwind and the Sp. Attack is enough to KO it as well. Bulk-wise it was enough to live Life Orb Thundy-I’s attacks and gave many Pokémon a tough time taking down Suicune. Snarl is a great move in Doubles to annoy special attackers.

  • 252 Atk Aerilate Mega Salamence Double-Edge vs. 244 HP / 100+ Def Suicune: 108-127 (52.4 – 61.6%) — guaranteed 3HKO after Sitrus Berry recovery
  • +1 252 Atk Aerilate Mega Salamence Double-Edge vs. 244 HP / 100+ Def Suicune: 160-189 (77.6 – 91.7%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Sitrus Berry recovery
  • 252 SpA Life Orb Thundurus Thunderbolt vs. 244 HP / 20 SpD Suicune: 172-203 (83.4 – 98.5%) — guaranteed 2HKO after Sitrus Berry recovery

sylveon

Sylveon @ Choice Specs
Ability: Pixilate
Level: 50
EVs: 100 HP / 252 Def / 84 SpA / 4 SpD / 68 Spe
Modest Nature
– Hyper Voice
– Shadow Ball
– Hyper Beam
– Psyshock

The set that Legacy originally gave me had less Speed and more Sp. Attack. The original Speed set was only faster than Mega Kangaskhan under Tailwind. But I felt it was important to be faster than Terrakion at least so it doesn’t get flinched by its Rock Slide, So I had to sacrifice some Special Attack for the Speed. But it was still enough to KO a max HP Mega Kangaskhan.

84+ SpA Choice Specs Pixilate Sylveon Hyper Beam vs. 252 HP / 0 SpD Mega Kangaskhan: 211-250 (99.5 – 117.9%) — 93.8% chance to OHKO

The bulk side of Sylveon can survive attacks from neutral natured max Attack from the 2 most popular megas and also Adamant Scizor. If the megas are Adamant nature then Intimidate is required to survive these attacks.

  • 252 Atk Aerilate Mega Salamence Double-Edge vs. 100 HP / 252 Def Sylveon: 148-175 (80.8 – 95.6%) — guaranteed 2HKO
  • 252 Atk Parental Bond Mega Kangaskhan Double-Edge vs. 100 HP / 252 Def Sylveon: 153-182 (83.6 – 99.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO
  • 252+ Atk Life Orb Technician Scizor Bullet Punch vs. 100 HP / 252 Def Sylveon: 151-182 (82.5 – 99.4%) — guaranteed 2HKO

landorus-therian

Landorus-Therian @ Assault Vest
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 156 HP / 84 Atk / 4 Def / 12 SpD / 252 Spe
Adamant Nature
– U-turn
– Knock Off
– Rock Slide
– Earthquake

Same set Legacy gave me since April. I always liked Lando but didn’t like being Choice locked into a move. I was an immediate fan of the Assault Vest variant because it gave me a lot of freedom to pick whatever move I needed. It can survive all non-STAB ice attacks and can survive most water attacks in the rain depending on the user. The EVs are designed to live +1 Life Orb Bisharp Sucker Punch. I loved having max speed just in case I have Tailwind up and people use Icy Wind on Lando. I love the mind games against people that don’t know my set. Most people assume I’m a Scarf user, which helps against the Mega Gengar match up. People do ask why I don’t run Superpower. Knock Off is really handy to have to remove items from the likes of other Landorus-T, and to hit Aegislash hard. I really needed U-turn for the Cresselia match up because my other Pokémon cannot damage it well and I can do the old hit and run to escape traps.

rotom-heat

Rotom-Heat @ Safety Goggles
Ability: Levitate
Level: 50
EVs: 116 HP / 252 SpA / 140 Spe
Modest Nature
– Thunderbolt
– Overheat
– Will-O-Wisp
– Protect

So this is the only Pokémon change I did to Legacy’s team after Adelaide Regionals. I found that I was having problems against Amoonguss’ Spore and Breloom is my only safe Spore switch in. I could’ve slapped the Safety Goggles onto Heatran but I really would like an Earthquake immune partner for Landorus and the Heatran mirror is an annoying matchup. The EV spread, with 252 Sp. Attack, is to maximize my chances of OHKOing Amoonguss with Overheat, 140 Speed is 2 points over 252 speed Adamant Bisharp and the rest was just dumped into HP. The other benefit of this change is that I now have 2 Pokémon immune to Thunder Wave paralysis. So with this change my team was starting to look like Billas team because we have 5 Pokémon that are the same, but we have different sets on our teams.

Australian Nationals

About 2 weeks prior to Australian Nationals I made a commitment to only play 4 battles on Battle Spot a day whilst focusing on my growth plan. I only missed 2 days of training and I played 50 games in a 2-week period including 2 games in the morning of Nationals. I was at 38 wins 12 losses in Battle Spot practice so that was a 76% win/loss ratio and I was the Australian number 1 on the ladder. The week before Nationals I managed to organize a Premier Challenge with one of my local Tournament Organizers with 3 days notice and we had enough people that turned up to the event. I went undefeated at the event scoring the important points I needed. During the week of Nationals we were told about the rules of the event and we learnt that it was Best of 3 Swiss, which was very good news to me as I prefer that. I got to work asking my friends from other countries for best of 3 battles so I can get used to that format again without exposing myself to other Aussies. So I thank Pephan from Chile, American pyromaniac720 (who used the Japanese Sand team), DrSugus from Switzerland and Britons Wyrms Eye for helping me practice. I got myself to Melbourne on the Thursday morning to enjoy the great food and I spent 2 hours in the library on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, reading, growing and practicing.

Round 1: Romany Coventon W 2-0

salamence-megazapdosclefairyterrakionlandorus-therianheatran

For the 2nd time in a row at Australian Nationals my first round opponent is a girl. She was full of energy and fell in love with my Delphox plush, so I continued to use my charm attack against her. 😉 But she was playing rough when we battled and I wasn’t going to let her dominate me. She started with Salamance and Clefairy in both games and things got tricky at the start as she had Dragon dance on Salamance and her Clefairy had Thunder Wave. Both matches were hard fought but I got my goal correct to remove the Clefairy quickly so I can set up Tailwind and dominate.

Round 2: Richard Buckley (Arahpthos) W 2-0

Looked standard from the Team Preview but there were a few strange things. His Rotom-Heat was slower than my Suicune and it wasn’t holding a Sitrus Berry, his Amoonguss didn’t have Rocky Helmet and his Mega Kangaskhan was slower than my Landorus. In game 2 I got the luckiest automatic move selection when I ran out of time in turn 1. My Rotom-Heat’s first move was Overheat and it targeted the Thundy and KO’d it after my Kangaskhan Faked it Out and I was able to capitalize from that lucky break to win the game.

Round 3: Theron Ho (BlazingSceptile) L 2-1

First time I got to play against a player from Singapore. In game 1 he took control of speed by Taunting my Suicune with Thundy and paralysing my team. His Terrakion was a massive offensive threat with its Focus Sash and he was also predicting my switches really well, so I proceeded to lose game 1. My plan for game 2 was not to be obvious in the switch outs but I wasn’t in the defensive in the start, as I had the stronger leads with Kanga and Sylveon whilst he started with Thundurus and Bisharp with Kanga and Terrakion in the back. Despite the good start he did make it tough for me by making some good calls on my obvious plays but I edged him out in the end. In game 3 I lead with Kanga/Sylveon again whilst he started with Bisharp/Terrakion and I was already on the back foot from the start. I decided to Power-up Punch the Bisharp whilst swapping my Sylveon for Landorus so I can survive the Close Combat and KO the Bisharp before it gets an attack off. I thought it was a clever idea because not many people are crazy enough to give Bisharp a free Defiant boost. But he actually saw it coming! 🙁 After he Sucker Punched and Close Combatted my Kanga to KO it the game was over. I was annoyed at myself that I didn’t commit to the gutsy stay in aggressive play because he kept doing the non-obvious moves meaning he wasn’t going to Iron head my Sylveon. But my stupid fears got in the way and made me pick the safe moves, which killed me.

Round 4: Jordan Taskovski W 2-0

This was a case of “my Tailwind team is faster than yours” and “why are you using Tailwind and Aegislash in the same team?” Of course I caught his Kanga being Adamant and bulky. I was able to dominate the match as he just made the obvious plays of Protecting his weaknesses and attacking the obvious targets.

Round 5: Luke Hey W 2-1

gallade-megathundurus

This was the most interesting team of the whole day. From the Team Preview it was really anti meta having both Bisharp and Milotic just to oppose Landorus. Mega Gallade was there to scare Kangaskhan. Going into game 1 he led with Rotom-Mow and Thundy, whist I lead with Kangaskan and Rotom-Heat. What I noticed straight away was that his Thundurus was not holding a Sitrus Berry, and his Rotom-Mow was holding Choice Specs as his volt switch did 50% to my Kangaskhan. I noticed his normal Gallade was slower than Rotom-Heat. I wasn’t quite sure on normal Gallade’s base speed but I knew Mega Gallade is at 110 base Speed. The biggest surprise was that his Gallade knew Skill Swap and stopped my Sylveon cold to win game 1. In game 2 I lead Kangaskhan/Breloom whilst he lead with Rotom-Mow/Bisharp. I dominated game 2 by putting most of his Pokémon to sleep and I learnt that my Jolly Mega Kangaskhan was faster than his Mega Gallade. Going into game 3 I knew every single item his Pokémon was holding and none of them were holding anything to prevent Spore. Also knowing that my Kanga was faster his Gallade, I dominated game 3. After the match he admitted that his Gallade is only faster than 252 Speed Adamant Kangaskhan.

Round 6: Ben Munroe W 2-0

tyranitar-megablazikengyaradosmienshaoclefableexcadrill

I wasn’t quite sure if he was reinventing the Japanese sand team or this was his own idea. I took it as it was his own idea because looked worse than the Japanese sand team on Team Preview. In game 1 his Mienshao missed the Hi Jump Kick into the switched in Landorus and I saw that his Mienshao was holding Safety Goggles as it took no damage from the Sandstorm. My Suicune sets up Tailwind and I dominate game 1 without revealing my 4th Pokémon. In game 2 he readjusted by leading Tyranitar and Clefable so he can set up a Dragon Dance on Tyranitar but I took control of the speed and got a lucky Scald burn on his Tyranitar. He did surprise me with having ice punch on Tyranitar just to KO enemy Landorus but he was burnt so I lived it and I went on to win game 2.

Round 7: Shawn Tang W 2-1

metagross-megaterrakionheatranscraftygothitelleamoonguss

It was another match against a player from Singapore. His team confused me on what speed method was he going to use. I expected it to be Trick Room because of the Amoonguss. Gothitelle are always scary to play against and he did bring it to all 3 games. In game 1 he was very protective of Gothitelle and I learned that my Mega Kanga was faster than Mega Metagross. His Mega Metagross’ attacks were Ice Punch, Protect, Bullet Punch and Zen Headbutt. His Gothitelle was revealed to be holding Safety Goggles with the moves of Psyshock and Tickle. Despite not showing his 4th move I was very sure it was Trick Room because of Mega Metagross’ Speed. Shawn not setting up Trick Room and bringing Terrakion won him game 1. In game 2 I led with Kanga/Lando whilst he started with Gothitelle/Terrakion. It was an ideal start as his Terrakion cannot KO Kanga in 1 hit whilst being Intimidated. I vaguely remember this battle but it was tense and no Trick Room was set up. I learned that my Landorus was faster than the Mega Metagross and I popped his Heatran’s Air Balloon on switch in so he really had a bad Landorus match up and I won the game. In game 3 he lead with Gothitelle/Scrafty and I lead with Breloom/Landorus. This time he sets up Trick Room and all I remember is that I managed to put his Metagross asleep in the Trick Room. I managed to stall out the Trick Room and somehow won by making good moves because I was shouting “C’MON” a lot and I only do that if I make good moves or escape confusion/paraflinch hax which he doesn’t have. Singapore people at home were not happy about the result. :p

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Round 8: Chris G (TheBatman) W 2-0

rotom-washamoongusskangaskhan-megalandorus-therianheatransylveon

I have known Chris ever since I got into VGC tournaments in Australia. I know how he behaves and plays. I have never known Chris to be a good team builder for himself and he tends to stay with the same team all season which he did in 2013 & 2014, especially if he has been winning with it, because he thrives on his confidence which turns into ignorance. The night before, at the TCG event, there were side tournaments and I only played to fill numbers, so I played using the May IC team. Chris was playing in the tournament as well and used the same team he has been using all season. He and I made the finals of the side tournament and I got thrashed, as was expected because I was using a bad team. I managed to save our battle and later that night I analysed his team using the mock battle feature to find out his spreads and if he had made any changes. So coming into this battle I was loaded with information and after finding out that I was playing Chris I saw Saamid (Yourf) who defeated him in the earlier rounds and asked for his advice. He told me to stay aggressive, which reaffirmed my game plan as I had played Chris at the Adelaide Regional so I knew the mistakes I made then.

Going into game 1 our leads were a deja vu of Adelaide. I led Kanga/Breloom and he led Kanga/Sylveon, the exact same leads from Adelaide Regional. Our moves were also the exact same in Adelaide. He swapped his Kanga for Landorus, whilst I Power-Up Punched the Kanga slot and Spored his Sylveon. In turn 2 he did the exact same thing as our previous match. He used Superpower onto my Kanga which it survived, and then I used Return to KO Sylveon because it destroyed me last time and I stayed in with my Breloom this time to spore his Lando because last time I switched it out to reset the Intimidate. So this was looking like a much better start for me and I didn’t get let go for that lead. In game 2 he changed his leads to Kanga and Landorus whilst I kept the same leads, so he had the advantage and this was going to test me. I wanted to stick to my game plan by standing my ground and being aggressive, because going against my original game plan failed on me against Theron. I know Chris likes to recycle Intimidates using U-turn and he certainly did that in turn 1, swapping into Amoonguss. I think I used Fake Out and Spore on his Kanga because I wrote down Kangas Sleep turns in my notes. Next turn I swapped my Kanga into Rotom-H to reset my Attack drop and protect Kanga from a possible Spore, which he ended up doing. All I remember about the rest of game 2 was that it was really tense and longer than game 1 but I still took control the game to win the match.

Round 9 : Nicholas Bingham (Spiritbomber) L 0-2

azumarillkangaskhan-megalandorus-therianrotom-heataegislashamoonguss

Seeing how I was paired up against the only undefeated player I felt comfortable about making top cut win or lose. But I wanted to win because I tended to bubble at x-2 this season. Nick is also one my biggest fans and he did offer to drop to me since he is already guaranteed cut but I refused his offer after seeing Theron winning his last Swiss match. Having been competing in the tournament all day I felt like throwing up; I couldn’t eat a proper meal so I was snacking on protein bars, nuts and coffees. I had spent so much mental energy on my previous battles that I don’t remember much of this match. My note taking this match was minimal as well and all I remember is that I was close to winning game 1 but I lost due to either a lower damage roll or a miss. I got dominated in game 2.

I was super nervous and worried about the top cut results. We had to wait a long time for the results and to my shock I made the cut and finally didn’t bubble, but I was also shocked that I was ranked 14th. I was expecting to be a higher seed actually because I did lose to 2 players with great Swiss results but I was wrong. So I’m going to make sure I don’t do x-2 in any future swiss rounds.

Round 1 Top Cut: Matt Jiwa (JiwaVGC) W 2-0

rotom-washgarchompamoongussscraftynu_mgardheatran

Figuring out the top draw is easy and I knew I was going to play Matt. When I got home I started messaging the people that played Matt during the Swiss rounds to get as much information about his team as I could. When FamousDeaf told me about the Pokémon in his team, I felt very comfortable about my match up against the Japanese Mega Gardevoir Trick Room team because I had defeated this team every time I played against it on Battle Spot. I got more information from Ty Power (Sarkastik) and Nihal Noor (UchihaX96) as they both played Matt during the Swiss rounds. I was told that the Garchomp is a filler and never used, Heatran has Safety Goggles and Amoonguss was wearing a Rocky Helmet. I asked questions about his play style as well so I can understand his behaviour.

Prior to the match I was planning to bring Kanga, Breloom, Sylveon and Rotom-Heat. I brought Kang for the offensive pressure, and Breloom to prevent Trick Room being set up, to offensive scare his Pokémon and because he cannot be Spored. I brought Sylveon because I figured he’ll bring Scrafty against me so I need good offensive pressure against it. Rotom-Heat was there to block spore from Amoonguss and Heatran cannot touch it. In game 1 I stuck to the game plan and I cannot remember much of the match but I must’ve prevented Trick Room because I wasn’t counting Trick Room turns on my notes for game 1. I remember that it ended with Sylveon waking up and finishing off Gardevior and Scrafty. In game 2 I started with Breloom and Rotom-H whilst Matt started with Gardevior and Scrafty. Matt managed to set up Trick Room immediately, I stalled it successfully and I won the match. I was the first person to move on to the top 8 and my homework paid off.

Quarter Finals: Matt Roe (RoeySK) L 0-2

amoongussaegislashsalamence-megaexcadrillrotom-washtyranitar

I was really happy that Roey won because he pretty much qualified for worlds and he is a fun person that I really liked. Going into the match I knew I could beat the Japanese Sand teams, as I had played many of them on Battle Spot and I knew exactly how I was going to play this. I brought Kanga/Rotom-H with Lando and Breloom in the back whilst Roey brought Salamence/Tyranitar with Rotom-W and Aegislash in the back. I ended up losing game 1 as I missed a Will-o-Wisp and made some bad plays. I learnt that he plays defensively and our Rotom speed tie. At this event I was only 1 point faster than Bisharp. In game 2 we both led the same and brought the same 4 Pokémon. This time he starts by switching in Rotom-Wash, which made life difficult without Breloom in the field and when I tried to switch it in, it got burnt by Rotom-Wash. I did put it to sleep and it got to a point where I was 2-3 down when Roey had his Salamence and his 2HP sleeping Rotom-Wash with Tyranitar in the back whilst my last 2 were Kanga and a full HP Rotom-Heat. I caught him out protecting his Salamence, and then my Kanga Power-Up Punched my Rotom because I wanted a +2 boost and not +1 from his Rotom. Then the most unfortunate thing happened: his Rotom won the speed tie, woke up and hit Hydro Pump into my Rotom and it was game over. My Rotom was going to thunderbolt his Rotom because I knew he would protect the Salamence and this is the reason why my Rotom-Heat is now 2 points faster than Bisharp.

Once again my arrogance killed me. At the time I thought using Suicune was a really bad idea to use in this match up because of the Amoonguss and the water type. But now I know Suicune can be good against this because of Tailwind. Generally my match up against Japan Sand teams is 50/50; it depends on how well both sides play because some of my Pokémon can destroy some parts of this team whilst they can be destroyed by some parts of the team.

South East Asia Nationals

I was planning to make my decision going to Singapore depending on my Aussie National result. I knew I had a strong chance of qualifying for Worlds as I was in the top 9 in CP in Asia Pacific after Australian Nationals so I didn’t need to go to Singapore. I was considering going because this year because this is my last year of playing unless I win worlds. The local players were encouraging me to be there plus I haven’t been to Singapore as an adult and I love summer. It was until the next day that the organizers announced that their Nationals was also going to be best of 3 Swiss and that validated me going to the event for number 1 the battle practice, then social and a chance of getting the paid invite.

Practicing for this National was completely different as I made it very public by streaming my 4 daily Battle Spot battles plus inviting a guest to do a best of 3 battle afterwards. On my days off work, I organised private battle appointments with American players and I created a schedule of one best of 3 battle every hour for 6-8 hours to simulate a tournament situation. My Battle Spot results did improve as I entered the worlds top 10 for the first time getting as high as 4th in the world and I wanted to keep battling with that high rating because it was good pressure practice to get to world number 1. My stay in the Worlds top 10 only lasted 3 days as streaming plus battling in the same time can be distracting as you miss some information.

2015_phil_5
As the event was coming close, my doubt of my team was starting to creep in as I was losing some matches and was concerned about some match ups. I asked Luke (Dawg) for some advice and gave me some changes. I was practicing the changes doing best of 3 battles with Americans and it failed badly there. So I stuck with my old team with the belief knowing I had beaten some of the bad match up Pokémon before and they are rarely seen in the meta game as well, for example Mega Venusaur and Clefairy.

The tournament attracted just short of 128 players around Asia Pacific from countries like Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Australia. We played 7 rounds of best of 3 Swiss with only a top 8 cut. People back in Australia calculated that only x-1’s would make the cut.

Round 1: Melvin Keh (Shaman) W 2-1

I knew I recognized his name from the streams of the Asian events and he quickly reminded me of our International Challenge match last year where I successfully time stalled him. It was my Aerodactyl vs his Aegislash where I had no way of winning without the timer. So I knew I was in for a tough battle. I lost game 1 because of his tricks. His Kanga was Adamant Inner Focus; Rotom-Wash had Thunder Wave for speed control, which shut down my Tailwind; my Lando was faster than his and it was holding a Lum Berry. So in game 2 I got good information about his team and how he played, so I used it to my full advantage and made good gutsy plays to win games 2 and 3. The gutsy play was in the start of game 3 where I faked out his Kanga because I was pretty sure he was thinking I wasn’t going to do it. Singapore was starting to hear my C’MONs really early.

Round 2: Zulherryka Yosuf (Mewzxc) L 1-2

thundurus

Turns out I’m actually known in the Asian market as young Zul recognized my name and praised me. His team looked scary as I didn’t want to bring Suicune because of the sun and KOing Cresselia in the sun is a massive challenge. I won game 1 because I led well with Kanga/Sylveon against his double genies and the game finished with Rotom-H’s Sunny Overheat KOing Cresselia at 60%. In game 2 he started with his fire power with Heatran and Charizard whilst I kept the same leads. Things didn’t look good at all and he dominated the match. In game 3 I figured he might want to keep the same Pokémon so I decided to bring Suicune and he knew I was going to do that so he adjusted to that. At the end of the match my Suicune became dead weight in the sun and I lost the game.

Round 3: Ezer Tan W 2-1

Thank goodness for best of 3 because I lost game 1 thanks to his tricks. It was a full on Trick Room team: his Heatran was slower than Suicune and my Breloom was faster than his Kangaskhan. In game 2 I learned his Cresselia was wearing Safety Goggles and Trick Room went up again but this time I successfully stalled and won the game. I cannot remember much of game 3 other than me getting critical hits and Scald burns making my life easier to win game 3.

Round 4: Vishal W 2-0

thundurus

I was happy to see a Team Preview looking like this because it looked seriously outdated. Talonflame and Bisharp were past their prime but I promised myself not to be arrogant this tournament so I played with a bit of caution. First turn of game 1 I Faked Out the Thundy and set up Tailwind while his Kanga used Low kick onto mine and I lived it, which indicated that his Kanga was Jolly nature. Next turn I won the Sucker Punch mind game and he made other questionable plays like not protecting his Lando in front of my Tailwind Suicune which got a free kill. In game 2 I completely dominated him as he was just doing the safe plays and his team is really outdated in the current meta of the time.

Round 5: Chi Yuen Fu W 2-0

hydreigonmetagross-mega

Playing a player from Taiwan and seeing rain made me comfortable using Suicune to set up Tailwind and do some serious water damage. So he starts with the rain duo of Politoed and Ludicolo whilst I started with Kanga/Suicune. I escape the scald burns and noticed he was being very protective of his Pokémon. I took out Politoed quickly so when Tailwind ended I stalled out the rain and took control from there. He led with rain again in game 2 and the same thing happened again despite using Thundurus instead of Terrakion to control my speed. It was nice to get 2 less stressful wins.

Round 6: Matthew Marquez (MaximumZero) W 2-1

Matthew from the Philippines was the next opponent. It looked like another rain team but this one looked a bit more threatening than the previous opponent. I dominated game 1 as he started with Politoed/Terrakion against my Kanga/Suicune lead. I noticed his Politoed was choice scarf as drizzle activated before Suicune’s Pressure. I still Faked Out Terrakion and set up Tailwind whilst I avoided a Scald burn from Politoed. I took control of the match without revealing my 4th Pokémon but the result was the reverse in game 2 where he adjusted by not bringing the rain against me. Going into game 3 he brought Mega Scizor both games and he didn’t use rain in game 2 so I left Breloom behind and took Rotom-Heat with me. I still led with Kangaskhan and Suicune whilst he started with Weavile/Terrakion. His lead was more favourable than mine but in the first turn things didn’t go as planned for Matthew. I swapped my Kangaskhan for Landorus while his Weavile used Icicle Crash on my Suicune and Terrakion used Close Combat on Kangaskhan, while my Suicune sets up Tailwind. From there I took control of the match and won, as I was correct in assuming he wouldn’t bring rain. At the end of the game Matthew said that he thought I was going to swap my Suicune for Lando so I can make sure Kanga can live the Close Combat and Power-Up Punch his Weavile.

Round 7: Jaryl Chan L 1-2

This was a must-win match. We featured on stream so I was looking forward to making a good show for the world. Looking at Team Preview I was having concerns of a potential Calm Mind Cresselia and Charizard Y combo but that was not the case when I lost in game 1 to his tricky Trick Room trick. He used Trick Room whilst I used Tailwind. By the time I stalled out Trick Room my Pokémon were so badly hurt that I couldn’t recover. In game 2 I readjusted and brought my Sylveon into the party. I made a good call in game 2 expecting his Landorus to switch out for Charizard as it copped a Thunderbolt to get KO. Jaryl ended his Trick Room early when I had my Sylveon out and Jaryl made a comeback thanks to the hax gods. My Sylveon was in time position to KO Landorus and Cresselia with Hyper Voice. I swapped in Landorus to make sure I was going to survive his Life Orbed Landorus attack but the critical hit Earthquake took out my Sylveon. The organisers gave me a win in game 2 because Jaryl was taking too much time selecting his moves as there is a strict enforcement of the 45-second turn selection rule. I knew Jaryl was doing this because he looked extremely nervous and tense during the game. So my game plan in game 3 is to continue pounding pressure.

Going into game 3 I knew that my Lando was faster than his. I started game 3 perfectly. I Knocked Off the Life Orb from his Lando to prevent him getting a KO on my Kanga from the Helping Hand-boosted Superpower. I took control of game 3 by leaving his Cresselia alone and slow picking off its partners, Landorus first, then Condelkurr in the Trick Room leaving me with a 4-2 lead. His last Pokémon were Sylveon and he had Trick Room turns left. My Sylveon and Rotom-Heat had about half HP left and I thought his Sylveon was just going to finish me off with Hyper voice because I thought it was holding Choice Specs. So I just picked Hyper Voice on my Sylveon because it was Choice locked into it and Thunderbolt on Cresselia. But to my shock my Sylveon was slower than his plus it wasn’t holding a Choice item because it used Calm Mind whilst his Cresselia used Moonlight to heal. After this, Trick Room ended. His Sylveon had taken about 30% health and I didn’t know how much damage a Thunderbolt would do to his Sylveon at +1 so I went for Will-O-Wisp so I can chip stall damage it because I knew we were going back into Trick Room. But my Will-O-Wisp missed and my Kanga failed to KO Sylveon with Sucker Punch, giving Jaryl the win. The biggest mistake I made in game 3 was my thinking that I was going to lose my Pokémon on the turn he Calm Minded his Sylveon because if I said to myself “what if I some how lived this attack” I would’ve picked proper attacks against him and not careless ones.

So I was pretty sure my tournament was over but there were people who dropped out of the tournament, so maybe at least 1 x-2 was going to cut and I wanted to find out where I finished because if I finished 9th I was going to celebrate with Bubble tea (thanks to Level 51 for the idea). Soon the TO voiced out the top cut line up and he said that there will be 4 different countries representing the top cut. 4 players from Singapore, 2 from Hong Kong, 1 from Malaysia and 1 from AUSTRALIA!!! I was in total shock that I had made the cut but it was no surprise when they showed the tie breaker resistances on screen. I was way ahead of 9th place. The 2 people I lost to were x-1 plus 3 players I defeated joined me at x-2. Thank you Melvin, Chi Yuen Fu and Matthew.

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Quarter Final: Wai Yin Low (TextFont) W 2-0

kangaskhan-mega

So this is it. The winner of this match gets the paid invite because if either of us gets into the semi final no one else in the top cut can catch up to our points. Wai Yin was only 10 CP ahead of me, hence why I was trying to do well in the International Challenge that weekend, but that was no longer needed because I had full control of my fate in front of me. The Aussies back home were quick to find YouTube videos of Wai Yin playing the Malaysian Regional where she won. I got back to the hotel after having a real dinner and took notes on how she plays. The morning after, I enjoyed a good swim in the Singapore heat and I remembered that Zarif (Hikari0307), the eventual champion, played her in Swiss so I got information on her team from him.

I knew she had a Tailwind team but my team absolutely dominates Talonflame. I led with Kanga/Suicune vs Kanga/Sylveon. In the videos of her Malaysian Regional I noticed that her Kanga was bulky and it was most likely Adamant nature. That was true going into our battle as my Kangaskhan outsped hers and it was going to be another case of “Phil’s Tailwind team is faster than yours”. I dominated game 1 with good moves and not giving any control. Game 2 was a repeat of game 1 as she struggled to find an out to Suicune and Breloom. After the match she admitted to me that she forgot to add King’s Shield on her Aegislash prior to the tournament. So she went 7-0 in Swiss without King’s Shield!

So the 2nd paid invite was mine! Turns out my trip to Singapore ended up being a profitable one and the same thing could be said about the other paid invitee Theron Ho after he finished 2nd in Australia and top 32 in Singapore.

Semi Finals: Zulherryka Yosuf (Mewzxc) L 0-2

I knew it was going to be hell playing Zul again. I started really badly in game 1 where I started with Kangaskhan/Sylveon against his Charizard and Heatran. He dominated me as I had no real switch in to the fire attacks so I was stalling game 1 whilst figuring out a plan for game 2 because this was an extremely difficult match up. In game 2 I lead better with Kanga/Lando whilst he kept up with the Fiery duo. In the previous game he Protected against the Fake Out so I thought he would do the same in game 2 so I decided to Power-Up Punch my Lando. To my shock he didn’t Protect, and instead went all out offensive and it was over for me. My biggest downfall in this match was not committing the same amount of homework that I did against Wai Yin. I had a lot time to do it as well.

Thank Yous

  • Thank you to my awesome and sexy friend from the Best coast of USA, Alejandro Jimenez (Legacy). Using your team has taught me a lot about the game. I cannot wait to see you at Worlds and get your picture & autograph! 😉
  • Thank you to great mate in Melbourne Jesse Wilsone for being there for me plus getting me out of the darkness.
  • To the Delphox Cubs, thanks for your assistance in getting legendary Pokémon, practice battles and bouncing ideas to each other
  • Thank you Australia for cheering me on and supporting me. I have seen the Twitch chat logs of the stream and I have never had so much while competing. I will do you guys proud for Worlds.
  • To all my international fans thank you for supporting me, giving advice and battling me.
  • Thank you Nintendo Australia and Russell Peters for organising a successful national event
  • Thank you to team Singapore for your hospitality and your tournament was equality well run like Australian Nationals. I love your dedication for excellence and you all have good team synergy.

Closing Words

Here is commitment to my supporters. I will be working hard and smart to make sure I do come home with the World Championship trophy. There’s still a lot for me to learn to become a champion because I have yet to win a tournament this season despite these great results. I cannot wait to see all my new friends I made this season and see all the old friends I saw last year at Worlds.

About Boomguy

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