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No Canadian Video Game National Championships in 2013

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Firestorm

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The Pokémon Company International has just updated the page for the autumn regionals taking place this weekend with slight adjustments to the prizes which reveal that plans for a Canadian National Championship have been scrapped.

Travel awards and byes are awarded to the winning player and are awarded to the U.S. National Championships. A Canadian player is therefore eligible to win a travel award to the U.S. National Championships, as there is no Video Game Nationals in Canada in 2013.

Unfortunately the Ontario Regional is this weekend so if you had plans to just attend the Canadian National Championships next summer, you're out of luck. This brings down the amount of Worlds Qualification events (including the LCQ) to 5 in 2013 instead of 10 in 2012 with Europe's system also changing. The Canadian TCG National Championships will still be in Toronto as scheduled. The silver lining to this news is that we shouldn't see a split in the playerbase when Nationals weekend rolls around. And hey, maybe we'll get a few more invites this time too?

Thanks Omega for the tip.


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    • By fuadorko
      http://www.pokemon.com/us/play-pokemon/pokemon-events/pokemon-tournaments/international-championships/
       
      Guess the first "Nationals" will be in London this december. Also a lot of new info on the pokemon website today!
    • By MattDorrell
      How’s it going, Nugget Bridge?  My name is Matteo 'Matt' Dorrell, and I've been playing VGC since March.  I built a team on Pokémon Showdown and won a tournament there, so I bred the Pokémon in game. The team then got me close to a 1800 rating on Battle Spot. As a beginner I was quite proud of what I had achieved with this team, so I decided to really test its mettle at a real competition: UK Nationals in Manchester.

      When I first built this team, I had in mind a certain move: Rock Slide. Many people consider it to be the best move in the game, so I wanted to find a suitable user of it. I first considered the ubiquitous Landorus-Therian, but I came to think of it as an extremely overrated Pokémon. Many opposing teams had Bisharp or Milotic to counter Intimidate, and Landorus-T just didn't seem to have enough power to pick up the KOs I needed. I then switched to Terrakion for additional power, but I found that it was easily hit by a status move or knocked out entirely; I tried Aerodactyl too, but it played much like Terrakion. Finally, I found Kabutops, one of the coolest looking Pokémon available. Even though its stats were fairly average and its typing wasn't great, I found a way to use its strength and make my team work.

      Kabutops @ Life Orb
      Swift Swim | Adamant
      196 HP / 252 Atk / 60 Spe
      - Waterfall
      - Rock Slide
      - Low Kick
      - Protect
      OHKOes 4 HP / 0 Def Landorus-T with Waterfall at -2 Attack in rain half of the time OHKOes 252 HP / 0 Def Sylveon with Waterfall in rain most of the time OHKOes 4 HP / 0 Def Heatran with Low Kick OHKOes 140 HP / 0 Def Thundurus-I with Rock Slide Withstands Jolly Landorus-T's Superpower most of the time Withstands Adamant Mega Kangaskhan's Low Kick Kabutops's Swift Swim doubles its Speed in the rain, allowing me to delegate most of its EVs into HP instead. With minimal investment, it hits 216 Speed after the boost, handily outpacing every common Pokémon in the metagame. Kabutops's power is impressive, knocking out many threats with a rain-boosted Waterfall. The flinch chances of its STAB attacks also come in handy in tight situations. Kabutops also helps out greatly against Japanese sand, as it gains a ton of Special Defense and can take out Tyranitar and Excadrill in a single hit. I had considered Knock Off over Low Kick, but I would have lost a very significant coverage option.

      Politoed @ Choice Scarf
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      - Ice Beam
      - Rain Dance
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      Talonflame @ Choice Band
      Gale Wings | Adamant
      4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe
      - Brave Bird
      - Flare Blitz
      - U-turn
      - Taunt
      This set is pulled from Alex Ogloza's 2014 US Nationals team. Talonflame just has an answer to everything; Trick Room, Tailwind, or sand up? No problem, priority Brave Bird takes care of every problem. Many people seem to have underestimated Talonflame, but it can turn a game around in the blink of an eye. The bird also handles Grass-types very well, threats that would otherwise doom this rain team. U-turn served as my counter to Perish Trap, but I rarely used it even when its intended use case occurred. Taunt was used as a last-ditch atempt to shut down Tailwind, Trick Room, or Aegislash, and it allowed Talonflame to occasionally masquerade as a Life Orb variant.

      Manectric @ Manectite
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      Day One (Swiss Rounds)
      Anyone who attended the UK Nationals will tell you that the tournament was an unorganised mess and had us all loitering around for 3 or 4 hours before any games even began.  Although for everyone else this was a nightmare, it gave me the opportunity to make new friends who supported me all weekend, despite never having met me.  I think the confidence boost this gave me had a part to play in the events that were to follow.
      Game 1 – Sergio Marcos
      His team:
          ( )
      I brought:
         
      Seeing his team, I thought Kabutops could do what he does best, as long as I could get rid of the Amoonguss with a Brave Bird and the Azumarill with Thunder.
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      His win condition was to get off another Perish Song with either Pokémon and to then stall out the last couple of turns with the two extra Pokémon he has in the back.  The obvious play here was to Brave Bird the Gengar and Thunder the Azumarill, so all he had to do was switch in Amoongus for Azumarill and Protect the Gengar, while following up with redirection and Perish Song.  Was I overthinking my situation?  I probably was, but my prediction turned out to be spot on, as Amoonguss went down easily to a Brave Bird, while Thunder went into Gengar to knock it out too.  Lopunny and Azumarill come out from the back, but now it was his turn to believe the game was all over.  This doesn’t mean that he didn’t put up a good fight until the end, as Lopunny used Fake Out on Manectric while his Azumarill went for the Perish Song.  As his Lopunny had gone down to Brave Bird, he was left with his Azumarill against an on-point Talonflame and an angry Manectric.  In a last ditch effort, Azumarill went for the triple Protect, but fortunately for me, only got the double.
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      1 - 0
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      3 - 0
      Game 4 – Matteo Gini (Matty)
      His team:
          ( )
      I brought:
         
      Fancy getting a game against someone who shares my name!  As our names suggest, I got to speak Italian with him, which was a pleasant surprise.
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      4 - 0
      Game 5 - Harry Aurime (Adaranoy)
      His team:
          ( )
      I brought:
         
      Looking at his team, I made the schoolboy error of not thinking about Suicune's Tailwind, meaning I didn't lead with either Serperior or Talonflame to taunt it away.  Instead I lead with Politoed and Kabutops again, seeing as no Pokémon on his team particularly scared me and I had been leading the pair in every game to great success so far, as he lead with Suicune and Bisharp.
      This is when I realised that he could Tailwind and seriously diminish my chances of winning, even if I didn't feel that threatened by his team.  I decided to have Kabutops Rock Slide and hope for the flinch on Suicune.  I was going to Scald the Bisharp but realised that the only play that would make sense for him would be to Protect the Bisharp, so I went for the Scald on Suicune just to get free damage off and maybe hope for the Burn.  Thankfully, Harry is a calm and gracious player, because two critical hits, a burn and a flinch on his Suicune meant that his game plan was probably set back by miles.  But it did not stop there.  He had Sylveon and Kangaskhan in the back, but neither could make a significant impact on the game as Kabutops got even more flinches with Rock Slide while Manectric paralyzed everything it touched.
      The loss here unfortunately set Harry back a lot, as he narrowly missed making the top cut with a 6-3 record.  I had a friendly rematch against him after I got knocked out of the contest.  The rematch was just as eventful.  Good Game, Harry!
      5 - 0
      Game 6 - Matthias Suchodolski (Lega)
      His team:
          ( )
      I brought:
         
      Fun fact: When I was a kid, I was gifted Pokémon Gold Version in German, so that I could learn the language.  Being able to speak German at the Nationals with Matthias was another pleasant surprise.
      Being ecstatic with what I thought would be an easy match-up for my team, I lead with my five-win-streak pair of Politoed and Kabutops, because they had done me proud so far.  Just like in games two and three, I kept Ferrothorn and Manectric in the back to lure in Fake Outs from Kangaskhan and electric-type attacks from Rotom-Heat respectively.  He lead with Kangaskhan and Rotom, which made me very happy.  If I could predict Matthias’ moves to a tee, I would win the game easily.  My plans however, fell apart from turn one.  Rotom switched out for Amoonguss, which was to be expected but his Kangaskhan became the first of the competition to use Fake Out on Politoed instead of Kabutops.  Ferrothorn came in, but I was already disheartened.  The game was still quite close, as Ferrothorn managed to set up enough turns with Curse to knock out quite a few Pokémon, including his Kangaskhan which was burned from a Politoed Scald the following turn and doing significant damage against Amoonguss.  With Terrakion and Rotom-Heat in the back, Ferrothorn struggled to not get knocked out in one turn.  Kabutops would have had free reign if I had bought Talonflame for the Amoonguss.  I'd say this was my biggest mistake.
      For 9 Swiss rounds, Matthias impressively went unbeaten and came 5th overall.  Good Game Matthias!
      5 - 1
      Game 7 - Terence Dray (Ty Flowsion)
      His team:
      [mini name=reuniclus][mini name=staraptor][mini name=charizard-mega-y][mini name=scrafty]([mini name=breloom][mini name=sylveon])
      I brought:
      [mini name=politoed][mini name=serperior][mini name=kabutops][mini name=talonflame]
      The first thing that struck me seeing his team was Reuniclus.  I knew Reuniclus was a Trick Room setter, but I couldn't even begin to guess what its defensive stats were.  My guess was that it was a slightly less bulky Cresselia with higher offensive potential.  His Reuniclus was level 49, which made me assume that it had to be able to outspeed something in Trick Room to presumably beat it, my guess was Amoonguss (turned out I was right).  I was tempted to lead Politoed and Kabutops again as an attack from both could knock Reuniclus out, especially if it had to compensate defensive EV's for Special Attack to knock out Amoonguss.  But I saw other problems, namely Charizard-Y and Scrafty who could both severely hinder my plans to disrupt Trick Room.  I decided to lead with Politoed and Serperior, as Politoed could try getting a burn off on Scrafty or Rain Dance after Charizard Mega-evolves while Serperior could stop Reuniclus from setting up the Trick Room with Taunt.
      Terence led with Reuniclus and Staraptor.  I hadn’t even really considered him leading with Staraptor.  In a moment of bewilderment, I used Taunt on the Reuniclus with Serperior as planned, but completely forgot about Staraptor being able to use Final Gambit.  I lost Politoed, meaning that I had already lost the weather war on turn one.  The battle wasn't lost, because Kabutops had me covered with his Rock Slides.  I was also sure that Kabutops could outspeed his low Speed Charizard because I had prevented the Trick Room.  The only Pokémon Terence had in the back that could potentially cause me problems were Breloom and Scrafty, who were both easy pickings for Talonflame.  He switched in Charizard as my Kabutops came out.  Even if  I did lose my Politoed, I felt that I had the advantage.  Rock Slide was the most obvious move to go for with Kabutops, while I correctly predicted the taunted Reuniclus to switch out.  Charizard used Protect while Scrafty came in to a Glare from Serperior.
      I didn't know what to expect next, and I was also suddenly not so sure whether or not my Kabutops could knock out the presumably bulky Charizard, especially after the Intimidate and Fake Out from Scrafty.  I decided to play safely and switch to Talonflame.  I'd say that this was a misplay.  I would have been far better off stalling out the Fake Out with a double Protect and then switching, but I think I was afraid of the Reuniclus switching back in for the Charizard.  He fakes out the Talonflame and goes for the Heat Wave, putting Talonflame at about half health.  Knowing that Terence would risk too much with a Solar Beam prediction, I switched in Kabutops for Serperior.  I made Talonflame Brave Bird Charizard instead of Scrafty, just in case Scrafty should decide to do anything like Protect.  Having his Charizard at low health would also be good, as a Rock Slide from Kabutops would guarantee the knock out.
      Then came the play that won Terence the game: his Scrafty using Quick Guard.  I did no damage that turn and his Charizard managed to get yet another Heat Wave off, knocking out Talonflame in the process.  Out of options, I knew I had to commit to trying to getting lucky with Rock Slide flinches and the chance of full paralysis.  My Serperior went for the Glare on the Charizard, but Terence switched it out for Reuniclus.  Scrafty either flinched or got fully paralysed, it didn't move, that's for sure.  Next turn, I knew I had to get rid of the Scrafty as it was the only immediate threat to Kabutops, so I had Serperior target it down with a Leaf Storm.  But the unboosted Leaf Storm was nowhere near enough to knock out the Scrafty.  Scrafty overcame the Rock Slide flinch and the full paralysis to knock out my Kabutops with the help of both Pokémons' Life Orbs.  To add salt to the wound, the Reuniclus managed to set up the Trick Room, which decided the game.  Serperior did manage to get a knock out on Scrafty during the last few turns because of Reuniclus getting fully paralysed, but did not stand a chance against the Charizard in the back.
      Using this win, Terence solidified his chances and made the top cut with a 7-2 record, coming 12th overall.  Good Game, Terence!
      5 - 2
      Game 8 - Reece Timms (ChicoMono)
      His team:
      His team:
      [mini name=lapras][mini name=thundurus][mini name=salamence-mega][mini name=breloom]([mini name=sableye][mini name=landorus-therian])
      I brought:
      [mini name=politoed][mini name=kabutops][mini name=manectric-mega][mini name=talonflame]
      It struck me as odd that I was paired with someone who was at a 4 - 3 record and as such, already out of the competition.  I would discover the reason later, but I did joke about bribing him to let me win.  Being such a kind-hearted guy, Reece said he wouldn't mind losing and only planned to play for fun.  This did end up being quite a fun game as Reece brought an interesting team with him.  I didn’t struggle much in this battle, but I did have to do multiple double-takes when his Lapras dodged a Rock Slide from Kabutops, survived a Thunder from Manectric, and knocked Talonflame out with a Weakness Policy-boosted Hydro Pump.
      Even though Reece was knocked out of the competition, he still finished relatively strong with a 5 - 4 ratio.  Good Game, Reece!
      6 - 2
      Game 9 - Yohan Pagonakis
      His team:
      [mini name=charizard-mega-y][mini name=thundurus][mini name=conkeldurr][mini name=breloom]([mini name=weavile][mini name=landorus-therian])
      I brought:
      [mini name=politoed][mini name=kabutops][mini name=manectric-mega][mini name=talonflame]
      Another fun fact:  At the same time that I was gifted a German copy of Pokémon Gold Version, I was also gifted Pokémon Red Version in French, with the exact same aim: to learn the language.  Being paired up against Yohan and speaking French with him meant that I had spoken a total of four languages in one day, which I wasn’t expecting.
      Tensions were high along the 6-2 table, as everybody was mentally preparing for the battle that would decide their place in the top cut.  I didn't know at the time, but Yohan is a veteran player, having gotten 15th place at the German nationals a couple weeks before.
      I led Politoed and Kabutops as per usual and had Politoed do a Rain Dance, because he led with Charizard.  The game went pretty smoothly from there, because Charizard locked into Solar Beam allowing Kabutops to knock it out.  The game was decided when Talonflame picked up a KO on Conkeldurr at -1.  Good Game Yohan!
      7 - 2
      With this final win, I made the top cut, ranking 8th in Swiss being the highest ranked player with a 7 - 2 record, which explains why I was matched against Reece earlier.
      Day 2 (Top Cut)
      Arriving at the venue the next day, I seemed to be the only person who wasn't tired.  I had only gotten a few hours sleep that night because of how late we had finished the day before.  Obviously pumped with adrenaline, I waited with my breath held as my first opponent for the day was to be decided.  As it turned out, I got a bye round for doing so well the day before, and some matches were going to be played by people further down the ranking to determine who would get a place at the top 32.  Some really big names made the top cut, but there was a particular big name that I definately did not want to get matched up against.
      Top 32 – William Tansley (StarKO)
      For my top 32 match I was matched up against William Tansley.  Like me, William made the top cut with a 7 - 2 win ratio, losing only to big names Arash and Sekiam.  The stage was set for Kabutops to prove it was no one-trick pony.  My first ever best-of-three match was about to begin.
      His team:
      [mini name=kangaskhan-mega][mini name=latios][mini name=rotom-wash][mini name=aegislash][mini name=volcarona][mini name=landorus-therian]
      Latios was the first Pokémon that struck me on Williams team.  This was the moment where I had wished I had Knock Off on Kabutops instead of Low Kick.  I would bring Kabutops anyway, because of Landorus-Therian and Volcarona being easy pickings for it.
      Game 1
      I brought:
      [mini name=politoed][mini name=kabutops][mini name=ferrothorn][mini name=manectric-mega]
      He brought:
      [mini name=kangaskhan-mega][mini name=latios][mini name=rotom-wash][mini name=aegislash]
      At this point, I think you can easily guess what pair I lead with, but I should probably mention it anyway.  Politoed and Kabutops were going to be perfect bait for any Fake Outs from the Mega-Kangaskhan or Thunderbolts from Rotom-Wash, as Mega-Manectric and Ferrothorn were lurking in the back again.  Things went wrong from turn one.  Just like against Matthias the day before, William correctly had his Mega-Kangaskhan Fake Out Politoed while his Latios went for the Tailwind.  I decided it might be an idea to take the Tailwind to my own advantage, I wanted Ferrothorn to get a strong Gyro Ball off against Latios.  But on the other hand Ferrothorn would be at risk from the Kangaskhan.  I decided to switch Kabutops in as a sacrifice, which was the best play I could have possibly made, as he double-targeted it with Low Kick and Draco Meteor.  Politoed Scalded Mega-Kangaskhan and got the burn too.  I switched Ferrothorn back in, as I knew that it wouldn't be taking that much damage from either Pokémon.  Knowing that one of his Pokémon would switch out, I had Ferrothorn use Curse.  Unfortunately it did take some damage from Low Kick.
      The Rocky Helmet reveal was important for William, as he had in mind to burn Ferrothorn in future games.  Rotom-Wash came in next along with Latios returning.  Thinking he could get rid of Politoed quickly, I knew it was Manectric's time to turn things around.  Gyro Ball from Ferrothorn did significant damage to Latios, almost knocking it out.  I wanted to stall out his Tailwind as well as my rain, so I could set it up again with Politoed in the back.  I needed Manectric to outspeed everything and launch those high-powered Thunders.  Protecting Manectric, I recall was also a fantastic play on my end, as William had identified it as a threat and double-targeted it.  This allowed Ferrothorn to hit the Rotom with a Power Whip.  The end of the game was easy as all I had to do was knock out the low-health Latios to stop it from setting up the Tailwind again, meaning that Aegislash was left to fight against my last three Pokémon.
      1 - 0
      Game 2
      I brought:
      [mini name=politoed][mini name=kabutops][mini name=ferrothorn][mini name=manectric-mega]
      He brought:
      [mini name=kangaskhan-mega][mini name=latios][mini name=rotom-wash][mini name=aegislash]
      A piece of advice that is often given to best-of-three players is to stick to what works if you win the first game and change things up if you lose it.  At first I thought William hadn't gotten that particular memo, but he would soon prove me wrong.  If the first game was heavily in my favor, the second was completely in his.  I didn't want to risk any more wrong Fake Out predictions, so I just made Politoed and Kabutops go for the Mega-Kangaskhan, as any damage was good damage.  This is possibly the only good play I made this game, because Tailwind became a real thorn in my side.  His entire team became unstoppable, as no Lightning Rod or Iron Barbs predictions could become a reality.  Aegislash sealed the deal for William as I could not read its movements at all.
      1 - 1
      Game 3
      It was back to the drawing board for me from here.  William was not going to fall for anything that I had revealed anymore, I knew that much.  But on the other hand I had dominated the first game with the element of surprise.  This time I had one thing in mind: Speed control.  I had to stop him from setting up the Tailwind, but I needed a backup plan just in case that idea were to fail.  Time for Serperior to shine.  Or should I say Glare?
      I brought:
      [mini name=serperior][mini name=talonflame][mini name=politoed][mini name=kabutops]
      He brought:
      [mini name=kangaskhan-mega][mini name=latios][mini name=rotom-wash][mini name=aegislash]
      And so started the best game of the competition.
      Talonflame and Serperior were to lead and double-Taunt the Latios, because I knew that having one of the pair be Faked Out was no big deal.  He decided to Fake Out Serperior, which was probably to be expected, but there was no Tailwind for him this time.  I might actually have gotten really lucky there, as there might have been a speed tie between Talonflame and Latios. Serperior was the definite hero this game as it started running circles around William's team, Glaring and Taunting, Taunting and Glaring.  All the while Protecting at clever intervals to recover with Leftovers.  William did not go down easily however.  Although Serperior did go largely ignored, my other Pokémon had a hard time between trying to find a way to dent the correct Pokémon and not taking damage.  Talonflame however survived a Psychic from Latios to knock it out in one hit with Brave Bird.  Aegislash also failed to outpredict the combo of Politoed and Kabutops, going down easily due to Serperiors Taunt.  Mega-Kangaskhan and Rotom almost ruined the party as they had free reign because I had not taken Manectric or Ferrothorn with me.  The last turn came about and Serperior, with a Leaf Storm boost and at almost full health, was left against Mega-Kangaskhan and Rotom-Wash.  Mega-Kangaskhan had visible battle bruises, as it lay in low health almost from Double-Edge recoil damage alone.
      I think tiredness and hunger must have set in, because I suddenly drew a complete blank on what William had on Mega-Kangaskhan.  For some reason I was convinced it had Power-Up Punch.  I was also convinced that he was going to predict me to Protect to get Leftovers recovery and so would Power-Up Punch his own Rotom to get enough fire-power to knock out Serperior in one hit.  I had to prevent this from happening.  If my prediction turned out to be wrong, I knew that the chance of me getting knocked out from on Double-Edge was very low (around 10%).  Even if that did happen, there was no way that Kangaskhan wouldn't faint due to recoil.  Putting all my eggs in the snakes basket, I easily knocked out the Rotom with Leaf Storm.  The moment of truth came as Double-Edge hit Serperior.  Time itself slowed down as I watched the health bar fall down...
      to 4 HP.
      2 - 1
      There was no way that this game could have been any more tense.  This was the only other game Serperior was taken to, having lost the first one against Terence.  Not only did Serperior redeem itself, it also won me the game almost single-handedly.  This was my favourite match of the tournament, and possibly the best match I've ever played in my admittedly short VGC career.
      Great Game, William!
      Top 16 – Arash Ommati (Mean)
      If you had told me on the cold Friday morning when I left my flat to get to Manchester that I would be battling Arash Ommati, the former World Champion, for a spot in the top 8, I would never have believed you.  Here I was, with the matchup that I was fearing.
      I looked at his team.  It was very familiar.  Aaron Zheng had been playing a variation of it on his Road to Ranked series that week.  Arash brought a Japan Sand team.
      His team:
      [mini name=salamence-mega][mini name=tyranitar][mini name=excadrill][mini name=aegislash][mini name=azumarill][mini name=amoonguss]
      I tried to keep calm, because I knew Kabutops could thrive in this battle.  If I won the weather war, Kabutops could get off fast Rock Slides and seriously threaten the sand core of Tyranitar and Excadrill.  On the other hand if I lost the weather war, Kabutops could tank the Mega-Salamence, Aegislash, Azumarill, and although I didn’t know this at the time, his Amoonguss.  I figured that I should take Ferrothorn with me, as it doesn’t take Sandstorm damage and was also immune to Amoonguss.  As long as I could get a few boosts with Curse up, I would be safe.  Arash recognised my win condition: Knock out his Salamence, and Ferrothorn could carry the rest of the game.   I didn’t.
      Game 1
      I brought:
      [mini name=politoed][mini name=kabutops][mini name=manectric-mega][mini name=ferrothorn]
      He brought:
      [mini name=salamence-mega][mini name=tyranitar][mini name=azumarill][mini name=aegislash]
      In the first game I decided to lead with my trusted pair of Politoed and Kabutops with Ferrothorn and Manectric on the bench.  The idea was to hopefully find out whether or not Tyranitar was carrying a Choice Scarf, by bating out a Superpower.  Arash led with Salamence and Tyranitar, with Aegislash and Azumarill in the back.  Although I suspected as much, I was comfortable with the confirmation of Salamence being the Mega-Pokémon, as I knew Manectric could threaten it.
      My memory has faded on the details of this game, but I remember feeling that I played terribly.  I remember Manectric getting knocked out early, but getting Azumarill to low health at least.  Politoed also knocked out his Salamence quite early on with an Ice Beam.  Arash must have been playing worse, because I won the game in the end.  It might have had something to do with the fact that Arash targeted my Ferrothorn with a Shadow Sneak from Aegislash and an Aqua Jet from Azumarill after Ferrothorn had set up a Curse.  I remember having a miss-click this game too, but nothing as game-deciding as his.
      1 - 0
      We took a break after the first game, so that we could both have a breather and a think.   The difference between a veteran and a beginner really showed during this break, as Arash thought about whether or not his Azumarill was really worth bringing instead of Amoonguss, while I ran around the venue looking for as many people as possible to tell that I was one game up against the former World Champion.  Now that I’m no longer a fledgling player, I now know not to make this truly obnoxious mistake again.
      Game 2
      I brought:
      [mini name=politoed][mini name=talonflame][mini name=kabutops][mini name=ferrothorn]
      He brought:
      [mini name=salamence-mega][mini name=tyranitar][mini name=amoonguss][mini name=aegislash]
      In the second game, I thought that Arash had maybe identified his Aegislash as a threat to me.  Not wanting to have the same Aegislash-related problems that I had against William, I decided to lead with Politoed and Talonflame.  I fealt safe leading with Politoed because I had a suspicion that he would drop sand altogether.  I’m not sure what he led with, but I honestly felt that I was playing better this game than the last.  I won the weather war, as Kabutops made Arash do a double-take by surviving a Superpower from Tyranitar and responding with a Low Kick to knock the it out.  If Arash hasn’t been at the top of his game, I would have won, because Amoonguss putting all of my Pokémon to sleep really prevented me from doing any other significant plays.  Talonflame was also having a tough time, because it couldn’t find the perfect opportunity to Brave Bird his Amoonguss.
      1 - 1
      Game 3
      I brought:
      [mini name=politoed][mini name=kabutops][mini name=manectric-mega][mini name=talonflame]
      He brought:
      [mini name=amoonguss][mini name=aegislash][mini name=salamence-mega][mini name=tyranitar]
      I cringe every time I watch this game.  I still have no idea what I was thinking that first turn.  When Aegislash was targeted by Kabutops I heard Arash groan quite loudly, which means he must have been relieved when I did not double-target it.  Even if I did get the flinch on Aegislash, I would have been at an advantage if I played recklessly as usual, as Arash kept predicting me to play it safe.  I genuinely thought I was going to win when I got both the critical hit and the paralysis on Salamence, but I just couldn’t capitalise on it.  Having Flamethrower on Manectric would have also been useful, as Amoonguss would have given me much less problems.  I believe that the tiniest bit of bulk on Politoed would have also helped it survive the Shadow Sneak from Aegislash, which sealed the game in his favor.
      1 - 2
      Good Game, Arash!
      The dream was over, but there was no way I could be bitter.  I was lucky to get that far in the first place and it was an absolute treat to get matched against Arash.  In the next round Arash faced Matthias and beat him.  This made me slightly disappointed at my loss as I would have really enjoyed a rematch against Matthias.  Arash got so close to winning it all, only to fall at the final hurdle, but his win against me had already solidified his place at the World Championships.  Hope to see you do well there, Arash!
      Conclusion
      As much as I love this team, I do have to admit that it relies a little bit too much on taking risks. I am happy about the fact that Kabutops proved to not be a one trick pony in best-of-three games. Does it need support? Yes, it does, but I still feel that it carried the team. Would I use it again?  Probably not. I assume that people will start to wise up about the prehistoric critter after reading this article, so it might possibly start seeing more use. Maybe someone could find an even better way to use it in the future!
      I want you all to know that you should not be afraid of going to official events near you, because the Pokémon community is so welcoming to newcomers and I did not meet a single person I disliked. Neither should you be scared of bringing your favourite Pokémon, especially if you can find a clever way to use it. Who knows, you might even make it further than I did my first time.
      Finally, I want to give some thank yous and shout outs to some people, because (and I don't want to sound silly) I would not have made it that far without the praise and support of the people I met that weekend.
      Matt Sheppard (KaSlaps)(high-fives galore), who was even more daring than me and top cut with a Kecleon, coming 35th overall. Gareth Buckley and his friendly friend Lee (or Leigh), who would praise me like a god for using Kabutops and just being the most entertaining person at the nationals with his extraordinary plays (successfully reading a Zapdos Roost with an Earthquake).  Still trying to find you on Nugget Bridge, buddy! Astronautical, who volunteered to make that really awesome artwork you see at the top. Various people on Pokémon Showdown who complimented me on Kabutops and set my decision in stone to bring it with me to the nationals. The lady at the stand who made the bacon butties which were a blessing between games. Every single one of my opponents, for giving me great games and still being supportive and gracious after being beaten or when beating me. Everybody I met at the nationals who I didn’t battle in the competition, including the people who went: “Oh, you’re THAT guy”, after I would tell them about my team. Everyone who helped jog my memories of the event, as they were quite fuzzy at the time of writing. And lastly you, for putting up with the ramblings of a novice and reading this article to the very end.
    • By MudkipVGC
      so i sadly dident TC this year due to a miss play but i still had fun. but the way this team works is pretty much switch gain momentum until a primal can sweep. most of the time i follow the rule of chose Thundurus or Cresselia chose if you want both primals if not take both intimidaters if so pick 1. since the team only has Mawile as a mega and theres matchups you want Landourus over Mawile you have to learn to play at a slight disadvantage. when bringing TR mode i like to lead Landourus Cresselia so T1 i can U-turn and TR and then i chose a primal. when bringing Thundurus theres a lot more switching involved. Mawile is mainly my mega of chose because it works well in TR and it gives me answers to Yveltal and Xerneas. 
       
      Groudon-Primal @ Red Orb  
      Ability: Desolate Land  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 252 HP / 196 Atk / 60 SpD  
      Adamant Nature  
      - Protect  
      - Fire Punch  
      - Precipice Blades  
      - Substitute  
      Kyogre-Primal @ Blue Orb  
      Ability: Primordial Sea  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 252 HP / 204 Def / 52 SpA  
      Quiet Nature  
      IVs: 0 Atk / 0 Spe  
      - Protect  
      - Water Spout  
      - Scald  
      - Ice Beam  
      Mawile-Mega @ Mawilite  
      Ability: Intimidate  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 252 HP / 252 Atk / 4 SpD  
      Brave Nature  
      IVs: 0 Spe  
      - Protect  
      - Play Rough  
      - Iron Head  
      - Sucker Punch  
      Thundurus @ Focus Sash  
      Ability: Prankster  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 4 HP / 252 SpA / 252 Spe  
      Timid Nature  
      IVs: 20 HP / 0 Atk / 29 SpD  
      - Protect  
      - Taunt  
      - Thunder Wave  
      - Thunderbolt  
      Cresselia @ Sitrus Berry  
      Ability: Levitate  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 252 HP / 92 Def / 164 SpD  
      Sassy Nature  
      IVs: 0 Atk / 9 Spe  
      - Trick Room  
      - Gravity  
      - Skill Swap  
      - Ice Beam  
      Landorus-Therian @ Choice Band  
      Ability: Intimidate  
      Level: 50  
      EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 252 Spe  
      Jolly Nature  
      - U-turn  
      - Rock Slide  
      - Earthquake  
      - Explosion  
    • By styrofoameon
      The (Big) 6 Groups of 2016 Nationals Preview
       
      There are currently about 446 players registered for VGC. While some of them are seniors and juniors, most will be masters. This means, as in the past there are in all likelihood 9 rounds and somewhere in the vicinity of 27-36 players (based on 300 to 400 masters) will cut day 1.
       
      However, this year, most people have other goals, and can be broken down into groups based on their objectives. For simplicity we will ignore that a few US and Canada players have CP from other nationals, and simply approximate the targets based on the assumption that this is the last CP of the season, and that most players have a nationals slot open.
      ----------------------------------------------------
      GROUP A: Day 2 or Bust (453+ CP, 21 players)
       
      8 players make a free invite to Day 2 of worlds. This is a hugely important goal. By estimating that most everyone in the current T8 will get at least T32 in this tournament, we can find the minimum target for a day 2 invite: 748. However, something like 59 other players can reach that target with a T16. So a more realistic target is about 819, which assumes that at least 5 of the T16 come from that group of 59.
       
      There are about 21 people who could hope to meet that target with a T32. As most of them are among NA's top players anyway, it is fair to say that not achieving a Day 2 invite would be at least a mild disappointment. At least 13 of these players will of course be disappointed, but such is the nature of Pokemon VGC that it would be silly to discount any of these players a chance for an invite.
      -------------------------------------------------
      GROUP B: As Long as We're Here... (384 - 452 CP, 43 players)
       
      Late in the season VGC confirmed that the T64 would receive stipends contingent on them attending and playing in Nationals. Thus most of them will be in Columbus, but for players at the lower end of the T64, cutting day 1 at Nats is almost certainly required for them to earn the right to skip day 1 at Worlds. More realistically they probably need a T16.
       
      In general, one can expect a lot of these players will drop at X-3, possibly opening up some places for some of the below groups.
      --------------------------------------------------
      GROUP C: Why are we here? (350 – 383 CP, 48 players)
       
      By the current count, 112 players in the US-Canada region have invites. Some of these players will be attending, but many will not, choosing to save their dollars for their trip to expensive San Francisco. Realistically these players can try to pay for their trip to Nationals with T16 or better prize money, but they have little else as a target.
       
      Many of these players are here for the opportunity to see friends and so forth, and one might reasonably expect them to drop at X-3, and perhaps even to scoop if paired with a friend with more at stake.
      -----------------------------------------------------
      GROUP D: Thank goodness for T128 (266-349 CP, 76 players)
       
      About 76 more players (down to #188 in the standings) can reach worlds with a T128 finish. This is easily achieved with a 6-3 finish on day 1. Even with 400 players, a 5-4 finish with good tiebreaks can get the job done, as about a quarter of 5-4 players will finish in the T128.
       
      There will be many pairings between these players in possible win-or-go-home games in the final couple of rounds on Day 1, which will lead to more drama than any of these players want. Players at 5-4 will of course be quite interested in how many people drop at X-3. If attendance is low (<320 or so, possible if virtually no one pays the extra $15 on site to play) and a significant number of players drop, we could even see CP awarded to players with losing records at a nationals not located in South Africa.
      -------------------------------------------------
      GROUP E: Nervous about 6-3... (218-265 CP, 39 players)
       
      This group needs a T64 to make Worlds. Somewhere between about half (with ≈350 players) and a quarter (with ≈410 players) of 6-3 will finish in the T64. This group could be most affected by drops by X-3 players, so it is hard to forecast how many will make it, but there is certainly going to be some suspense waiting for the standings after round 9.
      --------------------------------------------------
      GROUP F: Day 2 or Bust (217 or fewer CP, 228th or worse in the standings)
       
      While some of these players can sneak into worlds with a T32 and technically there may be some T32 at 6-3 depending on attendance, for the most part people in this group cannot really think about worlds unless they are playing on Saturday. T16 of course is enough CP for worlds by itself.
    • By FeathVgc
      UK National senior preview 
      Hi everyone I'm Fergus or @FeathVgc and I'm writing my first article on nugget bridge. This preview for seniors has been done before by @Garchompguybut many people felt he failed to capture every aspect a preview needs to contain. I will write this with no bias and will work from knowledge of players and point systems to help me give the best analysis I can of the for coming  UK nationals.
      Difficulty : difficulty is hard to tell with this composition due to the varied success of players across the season also the turbulent nature of VGC makes it hard to call 100% of the time a clear winner. Because of this I will leave out a rating for thi compotition
      Championship points: so as it stands I will order the preview by the rating of CP from 1-10 positions this way I can get a clear order for who needs what place and how they will do.
      1) Fergus Costard (@feathvgc) -554 CP
      At the moment I am currently 1st in the uk in terms or championship points the season started well for me with a 2nd place at the London regional. and also picking up a 1st in the Glasgow regional. I currently lead the UK Seniors and need only top 16 for a paid worlds invite.
      2) Conor Gore (@UnitedCancerVGC) -512 CP
      Conor, despite having only played Pokémon at competitions for only a year, has done very well to earn his 512 CP and his 2nd in UK and 15 in Europe spot. He is the winner of Wakefield regional,3rd at London and took 2nd at the recent Nottingham MSS. he took a fall at Sutton but he has since recovered and is now looking for top 8 nationals and his paid worlds invite. He is a strong player and if he can get his head in the game he can come out with a good result.
      3) Sammy 'o Connor (@m3m3rVGC) -502CP
      Sammy is a strong player with experience from last years national here in the UK. he has amounted his CP via his top 4 placements at both Wakefield and Sutton coldfield as well as being the victor of a MSS showdown. A strong player who needs top 8/4 for worlds and with his level of play can probably do it.
      4) Sanjit Acharya (@TimeRiftVGC)-490CP
      Sanjit has had a mixed season with highs and lows. He played missed cut at both Sutton and London regionals but found success with his 2nd place at Wakefield regionals and MSS win in Nottingham. he has played consistently well this season and can hopefully get his top 4 spot and henceforth world invite.
      5) Calon Stevens (no known twitter) -480CP
      Coming of this paid trip to worlds in VGC15. Calon hit some turbulence in his adaptations to VGC16. He missed cut in his 1st and 2nd regional. he later bounced back with a top 8 in Sutton to go with his top 8 in London and also his top 8 in Wakefield. he is an experienced player who has huge potential and if anyone was to write his off for nationals they would have to be and idiot.
      6) Rhys Stevens ( no known twitter) - 439CP
      Rhys is calon's brother and is the youngest senior competing. Rhys just left the junior division with a top 2 place at nationals last year and has done very well to earn his spot. He is will need  top 2 in Liverpool's national to earn his paid worlds. He had got a top 2 before so who knows. He plays well and has achieved a top 8 at Sutton to help his point total.
      7) Jamie Stewart (@jammiedodgerVGC)- 429CP
      Jamie has had a varied season starting with just missing cut at London and a bubble at Wakefield which came down to the fact all his opponents lost their last games. he also bubbled again at Sutton claiming 9th place and missing the top 8 cut. This said he did have all this bad luck against him I one way or another and the pressure of exams but he still has got his self the chance for worlds with a top 2 for paid invite.
      8) Sam Pickering (@UKsamVGC)- 377CP
      Sam had a decent start to his season by picking up top 4 in London narrowly loosing to me after a heated Bo3 set. He followed up with a solid top 4 at Wakefield and is looking hopeful for worlds. Only problem is he had never won an event. until yesterday when he took a PC win against all odds. despite this he had a poor run a Sutton ending on 1-4  making worlds a hard call with a win at nationals the only thing to save him. He makes good plays and should not be underestimated.
      9) Theo Chevis (@kyogreworlds) -327 CP
      Theo is a strange player who in my opinion is the real wild card here. He has only played me once this season and I 4-0ed him but he goes on to win Sutton regional and also take the Boston open title back in 2015. His lack of tournaments is the reason for his lack of points but he has quite the reputation as a result a player to be feared and to watch. sadly a worlds win will only take him to a possible paid invite so he will have to really pull it out the bag here. Theo is the player to watch imo.
      10) Thomas Gilmore (no known twitter) - 180 CP
      I included Thomas in my top 10 even though he is not strictly top 10 in CP. I did this because Thomas is , like theo , a very odd player. he comes to 4 competitions an takes 1st in London regional 1st in a PC , last in a PC and top 16 in Sutton he is a very good player who just needs more self confidence and he will bloom. he cant make worlds even with a national win but in my opinion he could well take it.
       
      Honourable mentions: these are players who perhaps cant make paid worlds but are In the running for something high placed
      1) Jana (@WeeYellowBoy)-370CP
       Jana is a fairly isolated member of the community. Little is known about his apart from his top 2 finish at Glasgow and 5th place bubble at London. No one knows if he will even show up at nats but if he did he would need the win and as result he did not make my list.
      2)Eoin McMahon (no known twitter)-319CP
      Trained by Sammy o Connor, Eoin has performed well this season picking up good results at his events. Eoin and I have never met but his total and what people tell me shows he is a force to be reckoned with and well with in his capabilities to do well at nationals. Needing the win here at UK nationals he will have a tough time making worlds. Tough but not impossible.
      3)Mattie Morgan (@MattieMooVGC)- 301CP
      Mattie is the only worlds hopeful from Ireland. he has been to 2 regionals and picked up 1st at his Irish regional and 2nd at the Sutton coldfield one. I have only seen him play once and he looked ok. but from what I have been told he has improved massively and is truly in the running for the nationals win. sadly even with the national win ,Mattie  still needs a good amount of top 16 to drop out for him to clutch his spot. in the top 16.
      4) Jamie Molyneux (@AssAssinMine)-167 CP
      I put Jamie in this honourable mention place because he plays well and his top 8 at Wakefield reflects this he has not been to as many tournaments as others but I woud under no circumstances write him off at all. He can definitely make a big splash this tournament.
      5+6) AxilotlVGC and Tevin/Otto Arboren (@invicnati and @Hungryspheal )-586 + 552CP
      These two are our confirmed international visitors for the senior division. AxilotlVGC's real name is not known and all that is known is he and Otto must have left Sweden 2 times in order to acquire the point total they have. As the horse betting tip goes you should bet on the foreign horse as it wont have come all this way for nothing. Because of the success in other countries these 2 have had to get 4th and 7th in Europe. these 2 could well be in the running's of winning this thing. they both need top 16 for paid worlds and should be able to do this.
      Conclusion
      To conclude , UK nationals at the moment is really anyone's game and everyone will have to play their best to get to worlds. To call a winner would be stupid and guess work so i will leave it open and here but anyway thanks for reading my article and I hope you enjoyed an insight into seniors and our worlds hopes. Shout out to @Carlos666333VGC and @NacThePro1 who just told me they are coming to the National! c u there
       
      thanks for reading - @FeathVgc 
       
       
        
       
       
       
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