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2013 Pokémon World Championships Confirmed for Vancouver, BC, Canada [Updated]

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blog-vancouver_byThamika.jpgIt's no longer a rumour. We're currently watching the closing ceremonies for the 2012 Pokémon World Championships and the location has been revealed to be in Vancouver, BC, Canada. It will likely be at the Vancouver Convention Centre on August 9th to 11th but nothing is known at this time. This is the first time that the World Championships have been held outside the United States in its 8 year history! If you're from outside Canada, remember to get your passports in order because you'll need one to enter.

If you're reading this post and are unfamiliar with the World Championships, it's an invite-only tournament featuring the best Pokémon players from around the world - about 9 countries for the video game and dozens for the trading card game. There's also a last chance qualifier tournament held at the event for those who don't have invites to try and make it into the main event. For those not interested in the competition, there is rare and unique merchandise sold at their merchandise store, autograph signings by the creators of the game, side events, and plenty of ways to spectate the high level matches.

Update: The event is now confirmed to be in the East Facility of the Vancouver Convention Centre inside Canada Place from August 9th to 11th just as we predicted. The Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel is connected to it which may well end up being the Winner's Hotel. For those looking for other options, there will be plenty of hotels with easy access to the venue as it's downtown right beside a major public transportation hub.

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    • By cymorg121
      Does anyone know when some rulings will come out for the 2017 series?  I know it'll probably be 2016 rulings until sun and moon, but I actually wouldnt be super surprised if we went back to 2015 rulings just to go back to banning legendaries. (I know its unlikely but just a thought) anyways. I know some regionals were announced on twitter so does anyone know anything else yet? Or when we can expect to see some information?
    • By 330 AJ
      Origins Game Fair
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      Purchase your badge and admission tickets through the Origins Website!

      The pre-registration deadline for events, ribbons, and generics has ended. All these items will be available for purchase at the show beginning Wednesday, June 15th. For complete details on the onsite registration process, visit the “Where’s My Badge?” section of the Registration page.

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    • By DaWoblefet
      Hello, my name is Leonard Craft III, aka DaWoblefet, and I am new to Nugget Bridge. Really, I am very brand-new, and that's why you're not seeing a team analysis that happened in January until now. After getting creamed as a senior in the 2011 Nationals Last Chance Qualifier and taking a break from the action in 2012, I came back to St. Louis in January to see how well I had improved in my time "off". Despite having no practice on a simulator or being a member of any competitive Pokémon site, I still thought I had a decent chance of doing well in this tournament. Whenever I practiced and felt like the team needed an adjustment that required an IV or Nature change, I had to RNG them again. It's a tedious process. Also, the only battling I got in was on Random Matchup -- a place where disconnections are extremely common. Battling without a simulator is tough!
      I began making this team by looking around at the best players in the world and Wolfey’s World’s team ended up catching my eye. I loved how he took the weaknesses of Heatran and compensated for them, so that’s what I tried to do with a couple of my Pokémon: compensate for their weaknesses, particularly Latios. I’ll admit, this team is far from being on the level Wolfe‘s is, but overall it performed great in the Swiss Rounds (6-2) and really came through for me when I needed it. Placing 9th in my first year of Masters is pretty OK at least! I also got the pleasure of facing two Magmas, though Benji was out of my skill level for sure in round 7.
      The Team

      Chiken Man (Scrafty) (F) @Chople Berry
      IVs: 31/31/31/x/31/31
      EVs: 140 Atk / 252 SDef / 116 Spd
      Ability: Intimidate
      Careful Nature (+SDef, -SAtk)
      - Drain Punch
      - Crunch
      - Fake Out
      - Bulk Up
      My first Pokemon I looked for was going to be a better version of Hitmontop. Every time I used Hitmontop before on previous teams, I was always let down by the fact that it was so commonplace. Nobody was unaware of how it worked. The Chiken was a fantastic replacement for Hitmontop, as its Dark-typing granted it immunity to Psychic allowing it to threaten Cresselia as well as give it two STAB attacks with a good amount of coverage. With 252 Special Defense EVs, it survives a Timid Latios's Dragon Gem Draco Meteor (though it could have been more efficient with HP invested) and with the Chople Berry it survives a Fighting Gem Close Combat from a Terrakion. With this, Scrafty usually sticks around for a couple turns. Drain Punch and Crunch provided a STAB combination resisted only by Heracross and Drain Punch was great for Scrafty's longevity. I ran enough speed to speed creep Hitmontop by 3 points, and I could immediately tell if I did beat it based on who's Intimidate came up first. Fake Out helped me to set up by shutting a Pokémon down for a turn, including the Hitmontops I was trying to creep. Bulk Up was a great addition, because Scrafty's Attack stat is relatively low, and it allowed him to gain a much needed power boost for Drain Punch to inflict more damage or to set up against Cresselia. I could also use it occasionally to bluff a Fake Out and boost instead.

      Mt.SoulDew (Latios) (M) @ Dragon Gem
      IVs: 31/0/31/31/31/31
      EVs: 28 HP / 76 Def / 252 SAtk / 132 SDef / 20 Spd
      Ability: Levitate
      Modest Nature (+SAtk, -Atk)
      - Draco Meteor
      - Surf
      - Tailwind
      - Protect
      Ah, the refreshing taste of Latios. Did you know that EV spreads specifically tailored to survive Timid Latios' Dragon Gem Draco Meteors lose 50% of the time to Modest Latios? I didn't, until I ran some damage calculations. Also, did you know that Latios can actually be defensive? With the investment in Special Defense, it survives a Shadow Ball from Max Sp. Atk Chandelure, and with the defense, a Dark Gem Sucker Punch from max Attack Hitmontop. Also, since Latios is usually paired with Scrafty as a lead, opponents would often be at -1 for Attack. In order to have these great advantages, however, I had to reduce Latios's Speed considerably. That's where Tailwind arrives. With Tailwind under its belt, Latios now outspeeds almost everything -- including Scarf users that like to speed creep this awesome Dragon-type. Surf also throws opponents for a loop because it allows Latios to hit Heatran or other Steel-types for solid damage. Most of my team is weak to Fire-type moves so Surf assists the team with the spread power and surprise element. You wouldn't believe how many people have switched Pokemon simply out of fear of Psyshock, when it's not on my moveset! The 0 Atk IVs serve to minimize confusion damage when the opponent confuses me, which is not uncommon with so many Swagger Cresselia running around. Overall, Latios is the most unique Pokémon on my team and after battles opponents often commented, "Man, that Latios is good."

      Garrett (Scizor) (F) @ Occa Berry
      IVs: 31/31/31/x/31/31
      EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 108 Def / 92 SDef / 52 Spd
      Ability: Technician
      Adamant Nature (+Atk, -SAtk)
      - Bullet Punch
      - Bug Bite
      - Tailwind
      - Protect
      My second Tailwind user, revenge killer, and Dragon-resist all rolled up into one. While Tailwind is not as surprising on Scizor as it is on Latios, it still gives the opponent something a little different to work with. Scizor is one point slower than Scrafty, so if the situation comes up that I need Scrafty to move first, I know for sure it'll work. Bullet Punch is a good priority STAB attack; Bug Bite OHKOs Latios and dents/potentially steals a Sitrus Berry from Cresselia/Amoonguss. The Occa Berry lets it survive some Fire-type moves, with it being EV'd to take a Timid Volcarona's Heat Wave. This makes it a full check to Latios, as it can always survive HP Fire, set up Tailwind and then OHKO with Bug Bite. 108 Defense EVs survives a Fighting Gem Close Combat from Max Attack Hitmontop and 252 Attack is to give it all the power it desires.

      Spark Plug (Zapdos) @Yache Berry
      IVs: 31/22/30/31/31/31
      EVs: 4 HP / 252 SAtk / 252 Spd
      Ability: Pressure
      Timid Nature (+Spd, -Atk)
      - Thunderbolt
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      - Detect
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      Mr. O'Neal (Abomasnow) (F) @Focus Sash
      IVs: 31/31/31/31/31/31
      EVs: 220 HP / 252 SAtk / 36 Spd
      Ability: Snow Warning
      Mild Nature (Up Sp. Atk, down Def)
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      - Giga Drain
      - Ice Shard
      - Protect
      Nicknamed after my former math teacher because of his college story about how he and his friends lit the ceiling fan on fire and turned it on to see what would happen (you'd be scared), Abomasnow's fear of Fire-type moves is just as great. Abomasnow's main use was to set up Hail and serve as a check to Rain teams with Giga Drain. It's also quite an accomplished revenge killer, with damage from Ice Shard + Hail taking out most low HP foes. I never found much use in underspeeding Tyranitar, as setting up Hail just meant Tyranitar could KO with Rock Slide far easier. With 36 Speed EVs and Tailwind it gets the jump on 252 Speed Jolly Garchomp, OHKOing it with Blizzard providing there's no Yache Berry. In fact, Abomasnow is great for blasting Dragons with Blizzard, and Ice Shard usually revenge kills most of them. The Mild Nature is chosen so Abomasnow doesn't lose any Attack, and losing Defense is not too big a deal when most physical attacks bring Abomasnow to its Focus Sash anyway.

      Egg (Amoonguss) (M) @Sitrus Berry
      IVs: 31/0/31/31/31/0
      EVs: 252 HP / 60 Def / 196 SDef
      Ability: Effect Spore
      Sassy (+SDef, -Spd)
      - Rage Powder
      - Spore
      - Giga Drain
      - Protect
      The first thing people would say is, "Why no Regenerator?" My Amoonguss is very bulky, and if I use Amoonguss, chances are he stays out for a long time. Most of my defensive switches are into Amoonguss, because it can sponge the damage and use Rage Powder because it wants more. While it is taking attacks it really never hurts to have a 30% chance of a status condition happening. Spore is very nice putting opposing Pokémon to sleep 100% of the time, crippling them for several turns. Giga Drain recovers its HP from time to time and Protect is just Protect. Amoonguss was chosen as the last Pokémon on my team because it patches up the team's weaknesses very well. Under Trick Room, Amoonguss is a monster, shutting everything down to give my partners valuable set-up time. I won my round 6 match because my opponent's Trick Room team had no good answer to Amoonguss, and it cost him the match. Amoonguss also gives the team another Rain check and Rage Powder provides a way outside of Fake Out to set up Tailwind.
      After winning six battles in Swiss, I lost to GreySong in round 8. Both of these matches were extremely difficult, and both trainers deserved to be in top cut over me, because they are both fantastic battlers. I have two Battle Videos from the tournament. 24-20774-81894 was my round 2 match against Team Magma member Multi, and 13-19663-70054 was recorded and posted by GreySong.
      Common Leads
      Scrafty + Latios
      This was my most commonly used lead if I wanted to set up Tailwind to have the immediate advantage. Fake Out usually ensured this, but if I could not beat the opposing Fake Out user, I was usually forced to Protect Latios the first turn and go from there. Latios' Surf did little damage to my specially defensive Scrafty, and Drain Punch could recover the HP loss most of the time. The two also had good offensive synergy, as Fake Out + Draco equals OHKO unless I am facing a Steel-type.
      Scrafty + Amoonguss
      This was my most common anti-Trick Room setup, because Fake Out or Spore could shut down the TR user for a turn. If I felt that I would benefit more from keeping TR up, I would let them set up their strategy. Fake Out + Spore was also used on several occasions, to otherwise hinder a Pokémon's usefulness for a couple turns. Amoonguss benefited from the Intimidate Attack drop, and Scrafty benefited from Rage Powder absorbing attacks while Scrafty set up Bulk Up boosts or whatnot.
      Scrafty + Abomasnow
      In case you didn't notice, I love leading with Scrafty. This lead was used against Dragons to cripple them early on. Setting up Hail quickly benefited my whole team greatly, despite only Abomasnow abusing it, because the weather damage at the end of the turn damaging Pokémon like Metagross and Tyranitar was really useful. This was also a common lead against Rain teams, though I never actually faced any Rain teams during the tournament. It was most useful in practice.
      Scizor + Latios
      This lead is for when I need either immediate offensive pressure or a surefire chance of getting Tailwind up. This lead proved to work well against Benji's team, who said that it was a really great way to counter his Amoonguss / Terrakion lead (after the match of course). The lead also has good defensive synergy, as threats to Latios can be handled by Scizor, while threats to Scizor can be handled by Latios. Usually if I used this lead, I left out Scrafty in the back, a fact that was important when I battled Benji.
      All in all, this team is not Worlds material, but I felt that it performed extremely well in St. Louis and I hope I can come up with something even better for Nationals. Now that I am a part of the Nugget Bridge Community, I'm hoping that my skill level will improve even more!
    • By Firestorm
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    • By tanzying
      This is a translation of Shoma Honami (SHADEviera)'s recent blog post, chronicling his involvement with the Pokémon Video Game Championships from its start in 2009 to his recent crowning as Masters Division World Champion in 2015. Shoma is one of Japan's most consistently strong players, excelling in various grassroots tournaments, qualifying for Japan Nationals for the past three years straight, and concluding his tour de force 2015 season, sweeping 1st place in the Japan Cup, Japan Nationals and the World Championships alike. We would like to thank him for permission to translate and publish this.
      Note: Viera did not include the abilities of the Pokémon in any of the teams he published in this post

      I am captivated by a game that goes by the name of Pokémon. A game that, unlike Go or Shogi, abounds with the element of chance. Praying that Heat Wave will hit both targets. Raging after being on the receiving end of hax. All that this game is, I truly enjoy.
      The Road that Led Here
      Greetings. My name is Viera. I'd like to retrace my tracks and pen a memoir. The moments of consternation, triumph, everything included.
      VGC 2009
      Mythical Pokémon/Ubers banned, No Team Preview, 4v4 Double Battles
      Back when I was a high school student, I began to take an interest in competitive Pokémon battling due to the influence of a fellow member in my school club, and started to pick up the fundamentals. Liking the official rules, I jumped straight into Double Battles without playing any Singles. That was in the time of the so-called VGC09 rules. I'll start off by introducing my first ever team.

      Pokémon Move 1 Move 2 Move 3 Move 4 Held Item Nature Infernape Close Combat Overheat Fake Out Encore Focus Sash Naive Togekiss Air Slash Heat Wave Grass Knot Trick Choice Scarf Timid Salamence Draco Meteor Fire Blast Hydro Pump Protect Life Orb Modest Swampert Earthquake Ice Punch Curse Protect Rindo Berry Sassy I realised how unbelievably weak Swampert was after crashing and burning with it.
      As for the official tournaments, I started playing too late in the season and therefore did not participate in them. I basically just got all my information from online bulletin boards and enjoyed battles. Towards the end I started using a serious team copied from some well-known player.
      VGC 2010
      Mythical Pokémon banned, Up to 2 Ubers allowed, No Team Preview, 4v4 Double Battles
      This was my first VGC10 team:

      Pokémon Move 1 Move 2 Move 3 Move 4 Held Item Nature Dialga Dragon Pulse Flamethrower Trick Room Protect Chople Berry Quiet Ludicolo Hydro Pump Grass Knot Ice Beam Fake Out Life Orb Quiet Giratina Dragon Pulse Will-o-Wisp Calm Mind Rest Chesto Berry Sassy Machamp Dynamic Punch Fling Encore Protect Iron Ball Brave The Machamp is a little wonky but the other three were probably quite all right.
      At this time, I experienced my first official tournament - the tournament at Hyogo prefecture. This is the team I used:

      Pokémon Move 1 Move 2 Move 3 Move 4 Held Item Nature Giratina Shadow Force Dragon Claw Stone Edge Safeguard Choice Scarf Jolly Infernape Close Combat Mach Punch Encore Protect Focus Sash Jolly Palkia Spatial Rend Earth Power Thunder Protect Haban Berry Timid Metagross Meteor Mash Hammer Arm Explosion Protect Sitrus Berry Adamant I lost in the first round of the Top Cut to a Shedinja concealed in the back.
      In spite of the defeat at the Prefectural qualifier, I continued to battle daily in preparation for the West Japan Last Chance Qualifier. This was also about the time I participated in my first grassroots tournament. I was quite confident back then, and did manage to achieve a decent result of 2nd place. The team I used became the basis of my LCQ team so I shall make a note of it as well.

      Pokémon Move 1 Move 2 Move 3 Move 4 Held Item Nature Palkia Dragon Pulse Earth Power Trick Room Protect Haban Berry Quiet Hariyama Close Combat Rock Slide Fake Out Detect Flame Orb Brave Giratina Dragon Pulse Will-o-Wisp Calm Mind Rest Chesto Berry Sassy Metagross Meteor Mash Rock Slide Explosion Trick Choice Scarf Jolly I lost in the 3rd round of the preliminary stage due to mishaps like double Protecting by mistake and failing, and Giratina getting taken down by a Critical Hit happening. I couldn't have done anything about the crit on Giratina, but double Protecting because I wasn't paying attention really laid my inexperience bare. I felt that the team was strong, however.
      VGC 2012
      Mythical Pokémon/Ubers banned, Team Preview, Bring-6-pick-4 Double battles
      I started really racking up the wins around this time period. I had managed to build a very strong and polished team and was really confident for the WCS qualifiers. It featured a self-Swagger strategy with Metagross and Scrafty.

      Pokémon Move 1 Move 2 Move 3 Move 4 Held Item Nature Politoed Hydro Pump Ice Beam Perish Song Protect Water Gem Quiet Kingdra Draco Meteor Hydro Pump Muddy Water Protect Life Orb Modest Cresselia Psychic Swagger Helping Hand Trick Room Leftovers Sassy Metagross Meteor Mash Rock Slide Earthquake Protect Lum Berry Adamant Scrafty Drain Punch Crunch Fake Out Protect Persim Berry Adamant Amoonguss Giga Drain Rage Powder Spore Protect Black Sludge Sassy The number of competitors that would advance from the Japan Cup (the online qualifier tournament for Nationals) that year was not announced beforehand, something that would be inconceivable today. I presumed the top 32 or maybe even the top 64 would qualify, but when it was finally announced only SIX players got through. Caught unprepared at 29th, I was unable to participate in Japan Nationals.
      VGC 2013
      Same as the previous year with the addition of stuff like Landorus-Therian and Intimidate Scrafty
      I devoted my energy to constant teambuilding, and would publish them after every grassroots or online tournament. However, this left me without a team to use just before the Japan Cup. The team I built in my panic is unbelievably rough around the edges but I'll write about it anyway. I believe I never released this to anyone but close friends (the team was so weak that there was no point).

      Pokémon Move 1 Move 2 Move 3 Move 4 Held Item Nature Cresselia Ice Beam Swagger Helping Hand Trick Room [/td] Sassy Metagross Meteor Mash Zen Headbutt Earthquake Protect Lum Berry Adamant Conkeldurr Hammer Arm Mach Punch Ice Punch Detect Life Orb Brave Hydreigon Draco Meteor Dark Pulse Flamethrower Protect Focus Sash Modest Thundurus-I Thunderbolt Thunder Wave Swagger Calm Landorus-T Earthquake Rock Slide I can't remember a lot of this, probably because there was no point in remembering.
      There was no upper limit on the number of battle for the Japan Cup this year, so you could go on for as long as you liked. Although my team was quite weak and had a lot of holes, through sheer persistence alone I managed to grind out an acceptable rating. This got me a 12th place finish and an invite to Nationals (from this year onwards the top 32 players qualified). After securing my spot in Nationals, in the run up to the real deal I started work on Eruption Heatran Switch, the purported strongest team archetype, and battled like crazy. However, I did not managed to perfect it in time for Nationals. Here was what I used:

      Pokémon Move 1 Move 2 Move 3 Move 4 Held Item Nature Cresselia Ice Beam Sunny Day Helping Hand Trick Room Lum Berry Sassy Landorus-T Earthquake Stone Edge U-turn Protect Focus Sash Adamant Heatran Eruption Heat Wave Earth Power Protect Iron Ball Quiet Conkeldurr Drain Punch Mach Punch Ice Punch Detect Life Orb Brave Thundurus-T Thunderbolt Discharge HP Ice Grass Knot Choice Specs Calm Latios Draco Meteor HP Fire Safeguard Trick Choice Scarf Timid At the tournament, I advanced from the preliminary stage by the skin of my teeth with 2 wins and 1 loss, but got tragically ripped to shreds by my opponent Haruto's Jellicent Rain team in the first round of Top Cut. The fact that I was still a scrub in spite of being Top 8 in Japan was relentlessly hammered into me, but I had faith that I was truly strong and would be able to get results in the future, and was thus able to deal with it (in the world of Pokémon, there are times where having a strong spirit is necessary for survival). In any case, even if I had beaten Haruto, I would have met this player MAS in the semifinals (he lost to Jellicent too, and when I tried battling him after Nationals I lost to him too. He was using Rain as well.
      Reflecting on my team, I should have considered using Thundurus-I instead of Thundurus-T. If I had been using it, I would have been able to lead Thundurus-I Landorus-T against Haruto, and Incarnate would have been preferable against MAS as well. The champion Gebebo used Eruption Heatran Switch with a Thundurus-I in it, and even spectacularly achieved 2nd place at Worlds with the same team. Up to this day, I really respect Gebebo for being able to perfect a clearly stronger team that mine.
      VGC 2014
      Things like Togekiss and Thundurus banned in addition to the usual banned Mythical and Uber Pokémon, Team Preview, Bring-6-pick-4 Double battles
      Even in this ruleset, I started off on the right foot, winning a 120 man grassroots tournament. I further earned an invitation to the finals of the Battle Road Gloria national tournament circuit, and placed in the top 8 there. As for the official tournaments, I began working on my favourite team before Japan Cup and got through it, placing 11th, doing well up until then. However, even though I had worked on the team for a long time, I was still unable to decide on the team's last Pokémon all the way up until the day of Nationals itself. Nevertheless, I had confidence in the team and that I was the strongest in Japan, but proceeded to crash out of the preliminaries with 1 win and 2 losses. Looking back, I should have used Salamence over Rotom-W as the last Pokémon, and one of my moves could have been replaced with something better. In the end, I didn't display the calibre befitting of the number one player in Japan.
      Thinking that it was better to do the things I could still do while I was a student, I travelled to and participated in the Last Chance Qualifiers for the World Championships, but was knocked out in the fourth round by my rival and fellow Japanese competitor Yuuichi in an intense bout with 1 win and 2 losses. Yuuichi then went on to win a few more rounds and managed to qualify for Worlds.
      At Worlds, Gebebo and Yuuichi were both using a Charizard team built around Tailwind Aerodactyl. I was unsure whether I should use a similar team up until right before, as it was clearly strong. However, I noticed this late, and was uncomfortable changing my team on such short notice, so I didn't use it. Seeing Gebebo and Yuuichi managing to perfect their teams and get results with them made me regret, however.
      I'll write about the team I used during the LCQ, I guess. This team was rebuilt after Nationals ended.

      Pokémon Move 1 Move 2 Move 3 Move 4 Held Item Nature Kangaskhan Return Sucker Punch Power-up Punch Protect Kangaskhanite Jolly Tyranitar Rock Slide Earthquake Dragon Dance Protect Tyranitarite Jolly Salamence Draco Meteor Fire Blast Brick Break Protect Life Orb Naive Zapdos Thunderbolt Volt Switch HP Ice Thunder Wave Choice Scarf Modest Aegislash Shadow Ball Shadow Sneak Sacred Sword King's Shield Focus Sash Naive Amoonguss Energy Ball Rage Powder Spore Protect Rocky Helmet Relaxed VGC 2014 was really fun. Thank you Kalos Doubles.
      VGC 2015
      Mythical Pokémon/Ubers banned, Team Preview, Bring-6-pick-4 Double battles
      Japanese Circuit
      I was pretty sure that I was by far the strongest from the start of this ORAS National Dex doubles ruleset (I'm a confident man). Surpassing a rating of 1800 on both my cartridges, I took first place and qualified for my third Nationals. However, it was kind of depressing as past Nationals had been nothing but trauma for me. The feeling of losing at Nationals is a really awful feeling that is hard to put into words.
      Anyway, going into Nationals this time I was pretty much in a "meh, whatever" state of mind, but my team was unmistakably strong, and I won my first two matches in the preliminary Round Robin stage with 4 Pokémon remaining in both battles (translator's note: Japan Nationals has a system where if the top two players in a Round Robin group have the same amount of wins and losses, the cumulative number of remaining Pokémon the players finished their battles with is used as a tiebreaker to determine who advances). This allowed me to take my time and play safely and guarantee that I would advance to the Top Cut. I felt that if I made it to Top Cut, I would probably win the entire thing, and lo and behold win I did. This was a very good memory for me, but I wanted even better ones at Worlds, so I plunged back into teambuilding deeper than before.
      At Worlds
      Between Nationals and Worlds, there were various changes in the metagame such as an increase in Gardevoir teams with Scrafty in them, but in the end my team barely changed from Nationals to Worlds.
      Nationals team: 
      Worlds team: 
      After getting done with finding a job, I departed on my Worlds trip with the dreary and mundane things taken care of.
      This was the official itinerary for the trip:
      1st Day: Arrive at the hotel in the evening. Nothing particularly important scheduled
      2nd Day: Nothing besides a short orientation
      3rd Day: The day of the final qualifiers. The so-called Worlds Day 1
      4th Day: Worlds proper. Swiss Rounds with a Top Cut of 8, followed by the Top 8 and Semifinal rounds. The so-called Worlds Day 2
      5th Day: Finals for all the age divisions. The so-called Worlds Day 3
      6th Day: Nothing particularly important scheduled. Sightseeing possible
      7th Day: Return flight at noon
      That was roughly how it went. Having a ton of free time was fantastic.
      It is going to be difficult if I write about all the non-battle related things such as socialising and whatnot here, so I may do it in another article. However, I should probably share at least one tragic incident. On the night I arrived, I bought some salad and bottled soda at the supermarket and went back to my room, only to discover I had no chopsticks or fork or anything similar, and even worse, no way to open the soda bottle. I ended up eating the salad with my hand and prying the bottle cap off with my teeth in despair.
      Day 1
      I had already qualified for Day 2 and had no battles, so I psyched myself up with the overseas variations of Red Bull and Monster Energy. The Red Bull Summer Edition sold overseas tastes stronger than those sold in Japan, it's delicious and I highly recommend it. As for the Monster Energy versions you can only get overseas I recommend Ultra Red and Blue.
      Day 2
      This was it, the day where everything but the Finals would be decided. I was bursting with anticipation.
      There were 77 participants.
      Round 1: Tobias Koschitzki (14th) - W W

      WIN. I wanted to win the first round at all costs.
      Round 2: Shun Fujimoto (27th) - W W

      Round 3: Alberto Gini (19th) - W W

      Round 4: Yosuke Isagi (3rd) - L W L

      Round 5: Nikolai Zielinski (20th) - W L W

      WIN. *smiley face*
      Round 6: Daiki Moriyama (5th) - L L

      LOSE. *serious face*
      Round 7: Sejun Park (31st) - W W

      Meeting last year's World Champion of all people in the last round of Swiss. However, *smiley face*


      And with these results, I advanced into the Top Cut as 6th seed. Congratulations! (to my past self.) I maintained my focus and managed to enjoy the battles. Next up were the Top Cut matches.
      Top 8: Daiki Moriyama (5th) - W W

      I faced him in Swiss Round 6 and got wrecked so bad, and thus wanted to cry when I saw myself matched up with him again. Winning game 1 made me feel much better though. In game 2 I haxed him with a burn and won thanks to it. Good job, Heatran.

      Semifinal: Naohito Mizobuchi (4th) - W W

      This round was an intense bout of offensive and defensive manoeuvres. Having the matchup advantage was huge, and I coasted to victory. Landorus did an amazing amount of work this set.

      And with that, the best evening ever began. All the players gathered in the open gaming room to socialise. My good friend, World Champion for three years straight Ray Rizzo, told me that the secret to winning was to have a drink, so I did so later in the night.
      Day 3
      Final: Hideyuki Taida (2nd) - W L W

      Both of us ended up bringing the same 4 Pokémon for every single battle. I brought Heatran, Landorus, Kangaskhan and Thundurus while BIDC brought Kangaskhan, Aegislash, Volcarona and Landorus. My Kangaskhan was faster than all of his Pokémon besides his Landorus, and my Thundurus and Landorus were faster than all of his Pokémon. My Landorus being able to move first and fire off Rock Slides was quite important. With Kangaskhan being a Pokémon that hits twice, the faster Kangaskhan in a mirror match can also gain an advantage through critical hits. The most problematic of my opponent's Pokémon was his Landorus.

      It's pretty well known by this point, but with that, I won the World Championships. For someone who strove so hard believing that he could be the most powerful trainer in the world, this was very significant to me. What a beautiful feeling it was...
      This is the path that has taken me here. A journey full of emotions, it truly has been.
      Official Tournament Results

      Rules Event Result No. of Participants VGC10 Hyogo Prefectural Top 64 ~500 VGC10 West Japan LCQ Lost in R3 ? VGC12 Japan Cup 29th 10237 VGC13 Japan Cup 12th 5162 VGC13 Japan Nationals Top 8 32 VGC14 Japan Cup 11th 9373 VGC14 Japan Nationals Didn't make Top Cut 32 VCG15 Japan Cup 1st 15531 VGC15 Japan Nationals 1st 32 VGC15 World Championships 1st 77 2015 World Champion Team

      Kangaskhan @ Kangaskhanite
      EVs: 180 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def / 12 SpD / 60 Spe
      Adamant Nature
      - Return
      - Low Kick
      - Sucker Punch
      - Fake Out
      Heatran @ Shuca Berry
      EVs: 244 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 4 Spe
      Modest Nature
      - Heat Wave
      - Earth Power
      - Substitute
      - Protect
      Thundurus @ Safety Goggles
      EVs: 252 HP / 252 SpD / 4 Spe
      Timid Nature
      - Thunderbolt
      - Thunder Wave
      - Swagger
      - Protect
      Landorus-Therian @ Assault Vest
      EVs: 244 Atk / 12 SpD / 252 Spe
      Jolly Nature
      - Earthquake
      - Superpower
      - Knock Off
      - Rock Slide
      Cresselia @ Sitrus Berry
      EVs: 244 HP / 4 Def / 252 SpA / 4 SpD
      Quiet Nature
      IVs: 18 Spe
      - Psychic
      - Ice Beam
      - Trick Room
      - Protect
      Amoonguss @ Rocky Helmet
      EVs: 252 HP / 252 Def / 4 SpD
      Relaxed Nature
      IVs: 0 Spe
      - Energy Ball
      - Spore
      - Rage Powder
      - Sunny Day
      I was absolutely sure that I should have used Kangaskhan, and it ended up being the right call. In the Best-of-3 environment of Worlds, I was confident that these six Pokémon were the ones that I could handle the best. I believe I managed to make acceptable plays in every turn of every match at Worlds. Building a team of strong Pokémon gives you a lot of options when playing.
      World Championships Japanese Stream Archived Footage

      Day 1: I was given the chance to commentate at some points
      Day 2: I was busy playing in the tournament on this day
      Day 3: My Finals match with BIDC with Kosuke, Sharon and Tony on commentary.

      Some Thoughts About Tournament Formats
      The World Championships utilises a best of 3 battles format, which I feel is great. Being taken by surprise at the start doesn't end you immediately, and by and large the result of the entire round is something you can come to terms with. Adapting, changing leads and making different plays also makes the game more intense. I personally also win more in Best-of-3 (36 wins and 5 losses in practice). The fact that Japan plays only best-of-1 while foreign players all play best-of-3 results in a disparity of experience at Worlds, I believe. Us Japanese players managed to perform well this year, so all's well that ends well, but going forward I'd really like to see Japanese tournaments introduce best-of-3 matches as well.
      My Future Plans
      I may go into streaming and uploading videos. In fact, there are various things I'd like to try my hand at. I'm currently looking for interested people to collaborate with. Also, I have my invite to next year's Worlds already and do not need to participate in the Japanese qualifiers, so it would be cool if they gave me opportunities to do things like commentate at Nationals! Finally, I'm going to work hard and try to defend my Championship, so please support me. Just watch, I'm going to become a pro Pokémon player!
      Final Words
      I'm going to win and win and continue winning. Pokémon is forever.
      Photo Credit: Doug M.
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