Saturday, February 6, 2010

HeartGold/SoulSilver Prerelease

Today Aaron and I went to Sevierville, TN to compete in the prerelease for HeartGold/SoulSilver. Anticipation for this set is pretty high seeing as it's bringing back several older cards that have been gone for a long time. For example, Double Colorless hasn't been printed since Base Set 2. Other reprints include Fisherman, Prof. Elm's Training Method, MooMoo Milk, and Pokémon Reversal.

One of the new mechanics of the game, basically replacing Lv. X pokémon, are the Pokémon LEGEND cards Ho-oh LEGEND and Lugia LEGEND which each span two cards and to be played require both cards. Also new to this set are Pokémon Prime. These pokémon are basically alternative evolutions, either you can evolve Chansey into Blissey or into Blissey (Prime). The Prime isn't actually listed on the card, but they do look different in that they have the holographic around the edge of the card like Lv. X's.

The tournament ran alright, neither Aaron or I had particularly good pulls. I pulled a Blissey (Prime) and Donphan (Prime)and Aaron pulled Feraligatr (Prime). At first glance that's great, however I didn't get any Phanpy and Aaron didn't get Croconaw so two of our best cards we couldn't even use. I ended up building a Grass/Water deck with Blissey (Prime) thrown in as well as a couple Koffings. Koffing in the newer sets is Psychic, but the HG/SS one only uses colorless energies so it worked. As far as heavy hitters go my deck was pretty short on them. Of the things I pulled I only had the basic pokémon for Ariados, Slowbro, and the Blissey all of which I only have one of. Also, the Slowbro required I throw a couple Psychic energies in my deck as it's attack, Madkinesis, does 30 damage +20 more for each psychic on Slowbro.

UPDATE: 2/6/2010 My rounds

Round 1: My first round went well in my favor for most of the game. I got Ariados early and was able to use it's Leech Life to deal 30 damage to my opponent and then heal for 30. I took out two of my opponents pokémon with it and was able to draw two of my four prize cards. Cutting to the end, I had two prizes and my opponent had one. He had taken a lead with a Wigglytuff that my Ariados had already hit for 50 and poisoned. I had also previously sent up a Girafarig that the Wiggly KO'd, but I got the chance to use the Girafarig's Show off attack to get Psychic energies for the Slowbro on my bench. Even though Girafarig got KO'd quick, those energies were really needed. The Wiggly had since fallen to poison leaving my opponent with only a Heracross, Snubbull, and a Jigglypuff or two. I had a fully powered up Slowbro, a Mantine, a Chansey with Blissey (Prime) in my hand, and a Spinarak.I sent up Slowbro against the Heracross who had taken damage earlier in the game and only had 30 HP. The Heracross was then able to hit Slowbro for 50 with Double Headbutt (30 +20 for each heads from 2 coin flips... he got one). On my turn I had two options, simply KO the Headcross with Madkinesis or play Blissey (Prime) to heal my Slowbro with it's Blissful Nurse Poké-Power and lose all the energies on Slowbro. If I healed Slowbro, I could then attach a water energy and use Slowbro's Big Yawn for 30 and still KO the Heracross, but I would be asleep afterwards. Since he didn't have any other pokémon in play that could do 30 damage I used Madkinesis. The cost me the game as next turn he sent up Snubbull, evolved it, and then KO'd Slowbro. My record after: 0/1.

Next round was short and sweet as I was pretty much doomed from the start. What was really funny is Aaron got a bye so he was sitting this round out and said basically when I was done we'd go grab some food. My opening hand only had one Slowpoke in it, and Slowpoke can only attack half the time because it's attack makes you flip a coin, and if tails it's attack doesn't work at all. Not only that, but my opponent had built a deck with Donphan (Prime) which is what I wanted to do. It's attacks (seen on the left) are crazy good. Since one of my strongest pokémon (Blissey) is 2x weak to fighting I knew I couldn't win. After several failed attacks from Slowpokes, both the one I started with and one I drew later, a failed attempt to come back with a Tyrogue, and then losing Blissey (Prime) to Donphan (Prime) it was over. Speaking of Tyrogue I have to rip on baby pokémon a second. In HG/SS they all have a Poké-Body that makes them not recieve damage while they are alseep. Since they have 30 HP and thier attacks all put them to sleep after they are done it would seem they would be good. Well, for some reason, in HG/SS Nintendo decided to remove the Poké-Power that lets them evolve into basics. This means they can't evolve anymore. Kind of pointless, my Tyrogue never woke up from it's first attack so it eventually fell to poison since that isn't damage... it's an effect. Entire match probably took 10 minutes. Lucky for Aaron, because then we could go get food. Yay me, I can lose at breakneck speed. My record after: 0/2.

After lunch at Zaxby's Aaron and I played a quick fun game before round three. For some reason my deck ran really smoothly and I beat him pretty quick. It was a sign of what was to come. Round 3 went great, I don't remember much from the round outside of the fact I won, and isn't that what matters? I do remember my opponent was playing a water deck as well, but he couldn't get much into play outside of Mantine which let him search for more water pokémon, mostly Qwilfish. My Blissey took him out quick. My record after: 1/2.

The forth round was fun, I got to play a guy who was running a deck similar to mine. Also during this time the Tournament Organizer began the raffle. Both Aaron and I won a poster, and my opponent won a HG/SS theme deck (the Feraligatr one). Anyway, long story short, my Blissey (Prime) was out turn three and destroying my opponent. I was down to my last prize when he finally had pokémon to fight with... Slowbro. We ended up battling Slowbro to Slowbro at the end, but mine stood victorious. My record after 2/2.

The final round wasn't that fun compared to the last one. In round 4 my opponent and I talked a good deal after what we were planning for future decks, same for round 3, but in the final round my opponent was on the phone almost the entire time. He communicated by pointing to things on his cards. It was getting tedious so I charged up my Slowbro and trounced two of his pokémon quickly. He ended up conceeding and left. My record after 3/2.

All in all the tourney wasn't bad. Aaron ended up getting a 3/2 as well, but one of his losses was due to time being called so it's possible he may have even went 4/1. Anyway, the next tournament for cards is States in April. Whether or not we will be attending is yet to be seen.