Pokémon TCG: Emerging Powers Black and White Prerelease: Part 2

Once the dust settled, I had to put my game-face on.  There was still a competition about to begin and I wasn't going to let one mishap get in the way of anything.  The booster packs were handed out and I methodically opened and organized the various cards.  Five commons...two rares....thrice uncommons....then onto another....but with a limited deck of forty cards, tops, this is where the strategy really picks up, because before and after this point, lady luck is the only ally you have for winning.  Now, as I have stated earlier, I cannot wrap my mind around more than the basic 150 Pokémon.  Thus, in the past, my 'normal' decks would only include those from what is now called First Generation.  But these new Emerging Powers include the most recent pocket monsters; building a deck looked suspect.  I compared how many types I had along with their strengths and weaknesses and decided to pump out a fighting/psychic deck.  After juicing it up with the proper energies and all of the two trainers I was given, I was ready to knuckle up.  Five rounds separated me from the top...

Round I

My first opponent  was a seasoned veteran...he has been to more than one of these tournaments and knew what cards were going to be in play before they were even released.  I should have tapped out, then.  After the initial setup, I won the coin toss to determine who would go first.  That would be my only victory, that round, as he built up his bench and hammered my side.  In these modified rounds, there are only four prize cards per side.  This means you need to beat four of your opponent's Pokémon in order to win (as opposed to six).  He mauled my first three guys, but I was able to hold him for a few turns as he was unable to hit me.  With eight coin flips landing on tails, I thought fate was smiling on me.......until he finally knocked me out.  Things were looking grim.

0 - 1

Round II

With one defeat under my belt, I was having Nam-esque flashbacks of my last tournament.  But I realized that I made tons of personal blunders in the first match.  Whether or not they would have changed the outcome is unknown, but even with luck being the deciding factor for most of these matches, I had to keep my cool and think smarter, not harder.  After the initial setup, my second match began.  My key Pokémon that I was using as my 'Ace in the Hole' was named "Sigilyph".  He was a heavy hitter with a pretty easy set-up.  I was rocking two of them.  Off the bat I was laying it thick and was able to quickly knock out his bench.  This was victory was the fuel that I needed in order to climb my way back to the top. 

1 - 1

Round III

The last round laid out my strategy.  Build up my Sigilyph and use him as a steamroller.  If he could unleash damage on the competition before they could set up, then it would be no-contest.  After we set-up, I was lucky enough to have both of my Sigilyphs in hand.  Imagine if The Patriots had two Tom Bradys, or if Barcelona had two Messis....that is what I had.  Wham-bam, thank you ma'am, I was able to win another match.  This was a milestone for me as; the first time I have won two battles in a row.  My ego was larger than life.  Time to sweep the floor.

2 - 1

Round IV

Set up as normal.  Four prize cards, full bench.  I was ready to win my third battle.  Lady luck was not just on my side, but she was taking me to dinner and paying for it all.  On the other side of the table was a gentleman named Neal.  He ran the local league and is a quiet man who is willing to help you with anything you need.  We spent some time talking about the documentary and what happened earlier in the day.  But our time of chatting was cut short as the judge let us know it was time to begin.  A minute in, I lost half my Pokémon  and that was the 'good' part of the match.  The competition was tough.  But I went in too cocky.  Losing track of my strategy and treating each game as if it meant life or death, I was error prone and quick to underestimate.  And as fast I we began, the battle ended. 

2 - 2

Round V

With a record of 2 - 2, I was not terribly nervous.  Due to the way the matches are set up, if you win early on or consecutively, you are given a better win percentage (There is a formula that determines your record vs. the opponents' records).  The key was to win this match to make sure I had a fighting chance to place in the top ten.  I was paired up with a very nice woman who had a daughter competing, as well.  Her daughter, in fact, was an enormous help when I first came back to the game, and her mother was not different.  The battle went on with my normal Sigilyph on the front line.  To be honest, I do not remember what she had out, but it was working.  We took turns, blow for blow, each losing a prize card.  It came down her with one card left and a pretty damaged Pokémon as her last hope.  On my end, it was the same.  One prize card and a near down and out Pokémon.  Her attack required a coin flip, though.  If heads, the damage would knock me out and she would win the match.  If tails, however, it would do nothing and it would be my turn; My attack would guarantee victory.  She flipped the coin...................then it hit the table and bounced a little.  If a movie were to be made about this, it would be in slow motion....and finally, it rested.  Tails.  From there on out, it was just going through the motions until I won.  It was the best battle of the day.  Down to the wire with a competitor who put up a real fight, for me. 

3 - 2

As they began telling who won first, second, so on, I was too busy talking with my last match-up.  What I like most about these events is that win or lose, everybody has a genuine good time.  If you need a card, they will just give it to you without expecting anything in return.  If they know you are going to battle them, later, they will help you with a deck to make it stronger against them.  Then I heard my name....I was called up to receive my prize of booster packs.  I just made it in at tenth place.  To some, that does not mean much, but for a guy who thought he hung up the cleats, for good, in 1999, I felt on top of the World. 

1 comment:

  1. I'll give you some advice that Yugi-Oh! taught to me many years ago, and aided in my own domination of the Pokemon trading card game for Gameboy:

    "You've got to believe in the heart of the cards."

    Truer words could never be spoken, and it will guarantee you victory in the matches to come.