ECC 2014 3rd place Report

28.2.2014 wrote: Steven Mao in category Trading Card Game

Hello Dear Readers of 60cards.net,

As my last article is some time ago, I need to come up with a new one, proving I'm not out of the scene! But this was really difficult due to me having lot of university stuff to prepare and my last tournament was the Regionals in November.

Recapping that showed my poor deck-choice at that time. I have played a Hydreigon Deck, in mind to counter Empoleon, which I thought would be big at that time, as well as the mirror match, because Ole Stognief won a Regionals with Hydreigon the prior week.

With techs like Latias EX, you could comfortably win the Empoleon Match-Up, without much to fear and I also included a copy of Giratina EX to counter mirror matches, where Latias would stall all the time and you could also get rid of Sigilyph and Hydreigon more easily.

In the actual tournament I have played against 3 VirGen Decks in a row and lost all of the matches due to the bad match-up. I was kinda upset about my pairings, but I think it helped me realize that Hydreigon really isn't viable anymore, so I could go on with another deck.

As always, before a big tournament, I tested the meta-decks with my good friend Marc Lutz. He was set on his VirGen Deck, which already net him a lot of good placings this season and I really approve playing a deck you are comfortable and already had some success with.

My choice was a lot more difficult, as I really couldn't decide on what to play.

Yeti was big at that time, as it was really popular and counted as a safe choice. VirGen was too risky for me as I don't like having an autoloss to Rayboar and I really hate Genesect in the TCG as well as in the Videogame...

Another choice was Gothitelle/Gardevoir as it was nice against Plasma if you could get multiple Gothitelles out and it was underrated.

Here is the list I tested with:

Pokemon (17):

4-1-4 Gothitelle

2-1-2 Gardevoir

3 Mewtwo EX

Trainer (32):

4 N

4 Juniper

4 Skyla

3 Tropical Beach

1 Ghetsis

1 Dowsing Machine

4 Rare Candy

3 Ultra Ball

3 Level Ball

2 Silver Mirror

1 Silver Bangle

1 Tool Scrapper

1 Super Rod

Energy (11)

9 Psychic

2 Double Colorless

To make it fast:

I played two games with this deck and it was really difficult to handle Red Signal. Getting only Gothitelles into play and let the rest die isn't as easy as it sound and without Gardevoir you're too slow with your energy attachements, so that even a Virizion can give you trouble. And as Marc also played Shaymin EX in his build, the only Silver Mirror Gothitelle strategy wasn't really a promising route to take either.

As I don't want to play a deck that has a bad match-up against VirGen, Gothitelle was out of the race. I almost decided to play Rayboar, but it doesn't really need testing in my opinion and the built was to 95% always the same.

My sanity returned to me afterwards and I worked on my Darkrai/ Garbodor Deck which had some wins against Marc's VirGen, but it still wasn't an even Match-up. But for the sake of comfortability I decided to go with my good old buddies Darkrai and Sableye with the addition of two new trash bags!

The Supporter Line-up was the most difficult to deal with, because I don't like Random Receiver very much as it only is a „Pseudo-Supporter“ and the engine is really vulnerable to Ghetsis.

After some test-matches I came to the conclusion that this was the best possible Supporter-set I could run at the moment and if I were afraid of Ghetsis, I just needed to play the Random Receiver immediately and keep a Supporter in my hand instead of the Random Receiver.

The last card I changed into my deck was a single copy of Silver Mirror, as it helps in the Yeti and VirGen Match-Up (Denying the 20 snipe damage on Sableye after an Emerald Slash), giving me 6 nice tools to ensure an active Garbotoxin. It is also quite nice against Yeti when you can lock them with Silver Mirror, forcing out their Tool Scrapper, setting up your field and disrupt them with Enhanced Hammer at the same time. If your Sableye gets knocked out, you can just promote a new one, get your Silver Mirror back with Dowsing Machine and continue this strategy, turning the Yeti Match-up into 60-40, which was really nice.

Here is my list I decided to play at the ECC:

Pokemon(11):

3 Darkrai EX

3 Sableye

2-2 Garbodor (70 HP Trubbish)

1 Absol

Trainer(39):

4 Juniper

4 N

4 Random Receiver

2 Bicycle

1 Dowsing Machine

4 Ultra Ball

4 Dark Patch

4 Hypnotoxic Laser

3 Virbank City Gym

3 Float Stone

2 Dark Claw

1 Silver Mirror

2 Enhanced Hammer

1 Escape Rope

Energy (10):

10 Dark

As you can see I went with an usual list for an already known archetype deck.

The only special feat you might find are the 3 copies of Virbank City Gym. I came to the conclusion that going first wasn't really bringing me anywhere except for setting up my field, but with 4 Laser and 3 Virbanks the chances to make some damage Turn 1 and applying pressure is increased significantly. Nowadays it is also very important to win the Stadium war, as Yeti plays 3 Frozen City and Rayboar also plays 3 copies of Tropical Beach. You can not afford to whiff Virbank at some time of the game, because the 30 extra damage is somewhat important in Match-ups where you need to hit those 170 EXs with a clawed Night-Spear. You can also get Virbanks back by using Dowsing Machine, which I did a LOT that weekend.

Now moving on to the tournament:

I was going there by car with 2 Judges, David Sturm and my girlfriend.

Arriving there on friday we relaxed and played a few test-games, which were unspectacular feats, so we will skip to saturday, the day of the main-event.

As we wanted to sleep a bit longer, we took a Taxi to the location instead with the judges' car.

When we arrived at the hall, there were already a lot of players inside and it seemed like we would play those 14 Swiss rounds in the Double Swiss Format.

We had a delay of a bit more than an hour, but it was expected as we had so many players.

In total there were 302 Masters playing in the ECC, which meant that we would have a lot of fun with Pokemon!

Please consider that I can't completely remember what exactly happened in every match, as there were really a lot of rounds. At least I took note of who I played against and with what deck!

First Round vs. Claire C. (US) with Rayboar

I was surprised to see someone from the United States playing in the ECC. I asked her why she participated and she said it was kind of a vacation. She was very friendly throughout the match and had a nice playmat with some grass Pokemon and a female Pokemon Trainer on it!

When she flipped over her Reshiram in the first game, I was kind of surprised, because it was so different from what her playmat conveyed.

Game 1:

I was mostly junk hunting and preparing to set up my field. 3 Virbanks really helped a lot, because I could easily kick the Tropical Beaches and did Laser Damage while Junk hunting.

It wasn't really a great game, because i almost only junk hunted for like 5 turns while she struggled to set up an emboar.

Game 2:

This time she started with Reshiram again and I needed to be careful again with my lasers, because

 Outrage could be a problem. This time she also got a T2 Emboar and could attach some more energies to

 prepare for my Garbodor. While setting up with Sableyes and attacking with Absol I forced most of her Energies out and could sweep the Rayquazas later with Darkrai.

She also slept like 6 turns in a row from Laser, what was pretty unlucky for her.

1-0-0

After the first round against a good Match-up, I was looking forward to the second round and hoped it was a good Match-up again.

Second Round vs. Goncalo F. (PT) with VirGen/Bouffalant/ Mewtwo EX

I have already heard from Goncalo before. I just know that he is quite a good player with a high ranking in the past. I think he also was National Champion in Portugal, but I'm not sure.

When we started the game I already was less comfortable, because VirGen was my worst Match-Up, but when I saw his Bouffalant and Mewtwo, I was feeling little better, as I could handle the DCE version of VirGen better than the straight one.

Game 1:

My start wasn't really fast and he get to go first. He Emerald Slashed twice and set-upped his field already (1 Bouffalant and 1 Genesect) and I didn't even set-up a Darkrai yet. At some time of the Game he just Gold Breakered me with Silver Bangled + Laser, so I never really was in the Game.

Game 2:

His first energy attached was a Double Colorless to the Virizion and I tried to get my Enhanced Hammer the following turn to punish this. But as we know you never get the Hammer when you need it the most, so he could normally set-up his field and I struggled to draw into hammers with something like 15 cards left in the deck. My Sableyes with Silver Mirror just get KO'ed by Virizion + Laser and Bouffalant + Laser. Those are very tough for Darkrai decks to deal with, so I ended up losing.

1-1-0

After this round a break of 45 minutes was planned, so I went to the shopping district with my girlfriend to get something to eat. When we returned to the location, most players were already seated, so we were in a hurry to finish eating thoses baked fish pieces called Kibbeling.

Luckily we were just in time and the round started when I swallowed the last bite into my stomach.

Third Round vs. Antoine-Marc A. (FRA) with Yeti/ Mewtwo EX Tech

I can't really remember a lot about this match as we had so many rounds.

But my Plasma Match-Up is generally quite good, because I can set up my Darkrais and Garbodors

behind my Sableye, which can have a silver mirror attached, and denying energy with Enhanced Hammer. Key is to attack with a fresh Darkrai and when they try to soften you up with Thundurus EX and you have Garbodor out, it is almost impossible for Lugia EX to knock you out afterwards, because most Yeti Decks only have 2 Deoxys EX on their bench.

Damage adds up really quickly with Dark Claw and LaserBank Combo and kicking their Frozen Cities isn't that hard when you play 3 Virbanks.

2-1-0

Fourth Round vs. Steffen J. (DK) – VirGen

Game 1: He started the game and could get an energy on his Virizion.

I just had a Juniper in my hand and needed to discard my Garbodor. Later I realized that the other on was prized, but it was already too late as his Genesect was fully set-up to rape my field.

Game 2: I can't remember the details anymore, but shouldn't be too out of the ordinary.

The fact that I lost this game, gave me pressure, as I couldn't afford to lose anymore.

2-2-0

For your information, every ECC I have cutted so far was after I was X-2 after a max. of 4 rounds.

So the pressure was on me and I couldn't afford to lose a single game anymore...

It's not that I like this pressure! It just can't be helped and I don't want this either.

I wasn't really motivated, but also not very depressed.

I just went on to see what my deck can achieve and I liked the way how it is played, because

it was quite consistent in that what it should do.

Fifth Round vs. Gianmarco M. (ITA) – Yeti with Ghetsis

Gianmarco was a really nice player and we casually chatted before the round started.

I was playing against the expected Yeti and was very comfortable in both matches.

Sableye was really tough to deal with for him, when it just can hammer and laser spam, while I was seting up. Noteworthy was the one copy of Ghetsis he played in both of the games, but with my adapted playstyle to immediately playing the Random Receiver, he doesn't get a chance of removing my draw options out of my hand (Those Ghetsis still net him 4-5 cards both times...).

He was also so nice to tell me that Silver Mirror doesn't work on Darkrai EX which I have attached to on the bench, which I really forgot at that moment. He also let me change my Silver Mirror to another Pokemon, which was really very nice and I didn't expect that.

I won 2-0 and wished him good luck for his coming rounds.

3-2-0

Sixth Round vs. Dennis B. (GER) – Plasma Kyurem Focus

So my first German opponent would be the winner of last year's ECC, Dennis B.

My record and luck against Dennis is quite bad, but I hoped that justice will be on my side this time and we will see if it is enough to win this game.

He told me that he didn't have much time to play in tournaments, this season, either, so none of us was at a disadvantage.

Game1:

We both had nothing and it was ridiculous how both consistent decks performed so bad against the probability. He failed to get Pokemon into play and just N'd. I didn't get much of everything as well.

I could slow down his Kyurems by hammering energies from them and Thundurus EX was suffering from poison, but never really slept. His dice were getting heads like 6 times in a row and I wanted to use another dice for game 2 lol.

I won this very close game. Attacking with a poisoned Darkrai which would die after its attack was one of the things, which showed how strange this game was.

Game 2:

This was also not the desired game we wished for and Dennis couldn't really set-up multiple Kyurem's to stream them, what his game plan usually is. I never was rarely asleep from his Laser flips, which helped a lot. At one time he scrappered my last Dark Claw away, because I had to discard one early in the game, so I was forced to Junk hunt for 2 Dark Claws midgame, which cost me a turn. But in the end I won, as I have never missed the KO on his damages Kyurems afterwards and proceeded to the next match.

4-2-0

At that time Marc was on a streak with 5-0-1. His only draw was against Stephane's Empoleon deck. Marc has been first after swiss rounds a lot of times already this season (3-times I think?) and I wouldn't be surprised if he would continue this in the ECC.

Seventh Round vs. Bauke W. (NL) – Garchomp/Altaria

I got downpaired against him and knew that my tie-breaker would suffer from it.

My plan to tie 1-2 times has vanished, as I think that it wouldn't be enough to get me to the next day. But the most important thing was not to lose as it would really cripple your tie-breaker then.

He told me that he attended worlds last year in Vancouver and tried his luck to get through the Last Chance Qualifier. But he lost very early to a Darkrai/ Garbodor deck, which I were secretely playing of course. Bauke also said that he haven't changed many cards from his worlds deck until now, so I didn't really know what to expect. But the fact that he lost to Darkrai/ Garbodor was a positive sign.

So he flipped over his Legendary Treasures Emolga and I was kinda confused of what he played.

After a while I remembered that it's the Garchomp Altaria Deck, which is already more than a year old. After thinking a while it was quite a nice choice for this event, as it deals quite well with VirGen, Rayboar and Blastoise. It also could discard special energies from Plasma, but Lugia one-hitting it with two Deoxys isn't really a good thing.

I won both games as I set-up my Garbodor as soon as possible to deny him the access of Dragon Call, which is the bone of his deck. Garchomps were attacked by a clawed Darkrai and if necessary laser'd. The bench-damage went to the next Garchomp as I won't need a Laser to KO it or a Laser without Dark Claw.

Both games went pretty one-sided as this was an easy Match-up for Darkrai/ Garbodor.

5-2-0

Eight Round vs. Vincent A. (FRA) – Yeti with Catchersss

The Plasma Match-up is as previously mentioned, quite good for me due to my Hammer disruption and my Silver Mirror on Sableye. So this game went according to my plan as I'm going to set everything up, while disrupting him. I played my hand down to play my Professor Juniper and he showed me the palm of his hand. I was little bit confused, then he explained to me that French players do a high-five when you're playing a Professor Juniper without discarding anything.

I've heard it from my girlfriend, as she also played a French guy before, but I was too focused at the time to realize that.

I won Game 1 very comfortable, kicking his Frozen Cities every time and he suffered from poison damage, which my Darkrai abused later to take multiple Knock-Outs in this Game.

Second Game was almost the same as Game 1 where I was Junk-Hunting the early turns.

It came down to timeout as I can legally stall this match out through junk-hunting the Silver Mirror/ Dowsing Machine. In the second turn of the extra turn I hammered his Double Colorless from his Lugia as he only had a very thin deck. I was already convinced that I've won this Game as he didn't have any Tool Scrapper left and one Pokemon Catcher in his discard pile, where I doubt that no one would play more than one in Yeti...

During his last extra-turn he was only shaking his head and was suddenly shouting „YOLO Lugia“ and I was totally shocked by that. He played down his catcher on my damaged Darkrai, which I thought would be safe on my bench. He rolled the dice and it rolled so that I couldn't see it immediately, because my arm was covering it. I slowly took my arm back and I saw... Tails!

My heart really skipped a beat and I didn't really realized what even happened after the match. My safe win could have got stolen by a coin flip and Vincent told me afterwards that he was playing three Pokemon Catchers *gulp*

    

6-2-0

Up to this point I was really surprised that I've made such a nice comeback. My girlfriend was happy about every round I won, maybe more than me.

So I tried not to lose the last round to ensure I can play in Day 2, where the best 32 plays 5 rounds until the final cut to Top 8!

Ninth Round vs. Tommi L. (NO) – Rayboar

In the last round of swiss I was playing against Tommi, whose name I have also heard before.

I know he is a successful player, but we never played each other nor have I seen him play, so we'll see how it goes. I was up-paired against him (he was 6-1-1), so I told him that I needed to win to ensure my Top 32 placing whereas he could afford to lose, while still getting into Top 32.

To my surprise he was able to talk a little in German haha.

I already knew that he was playing Rayboar and this is a good match-up for me.

Anyways I still prepared for some bad draws and hoped I would get my Garbodor out fast enough.

Strangely my Juniper's suddenly started to hate my Gabodors where my only Supporter was Juniper and I had two Garbodors in my hand. It seemed that Professor Juniper needed to get rid of her trash from the laboratory...

Luckily I got N'd, the first time this happened, by him and the second time I needed to Ultra Ball for a Trubbish, benched it and passed my turn, to evolve it the next turn and then playing the Juniper.

I won Game 1 fairly easy, as he didn't have an effective way to get rid of Sableye and my field was too dominant while he didn't have access to Tool Scrapper.

Game 2 went a bit different, where he again got a Turn 2 Emboar out and could attach energy via Emboars Ability before, my Trash Bag was actively doing its job.

He killed two Sableyes with his Reshiram and prepared a Rayquaza EX on his bench.

At the time he already played his 2 Tool Scrapper, I was feeling really safe and was Night Spearing. But he used Dowsing Machine to play a third copy of Tool Scrapper and went from there with his Electrode's Ability and getting energies in play. The Game was extremely close to the end where I needed to gamble that he didn't have the last energy, after a N to 2, to Dragon Burst me for Game.

Tommi had an extremely well built Rayboar playing 2 normal and 4 Superior Energy Retrieval.

7-2-0

So I made a big comeback after 2-2, I made it to the next day!

What didn't really surprised me was that every game I won was 2-0. Darkrai/ Garbodor just isn't able to win a game 2:1 in my opinion and would probably draw in best case. It is just not fast enough to win a whole game, when you're already behind, as it needs its setup.

This will be different when we have 75 minutes in Top 8, so we'll see how Day 2 will go.

Actually it was 12 AM when the last round of swiss was over and we all were very tired and returned to the Hotel. Grabbing something to eat, taking a shower and get as much sleep as possible was my goal to preserve at least some focus for the next day.

.

.

.

But after a little bit more than 3 hours of sleep the alert clock of my mobile woke me out of my dreams and we ate breakfast and proceeded to the tournament location.

Day 2

Tenth Round vs. Dennis M. (GER) – Yeti

I knew Dennis' list as he was playing Marc's Yeti. I felt pretty confident in my Yeti Match-up as I have already won some and are prepared for it.

We had some really ridiculous games, mostly on his behalf.

Game 1: He had 3 Plasma Energy prized after he Colress machine'd and I was asking him „Seriously? You have three Plasma Energy prized?“. Dennis didn't reply and just continued playing, but his facial expression was obvious.

So I've won this game easier than I've thought. In the middle of the game Dennis just didn't see him having any chance to win and he scooped.

Game 2: So the second game Dennis will be going first and I was having 3 mulligans...

I thought that would be a very tough game as he was going first AND getting 3 more cards to work with. But to my surprise he was looking troubled and was thinking a little bit.

He attached to his Thundurus EX and played a Juniper discarding 3 Plasma Energies.

Without Plasma Energies in his deck, his options are very limited to get more energies into play.

His only acceleration was Thundurus and I would have Enhanced Hammer to prevent some attacks I otherwise need to expect. The game turned into an open book, where I could read him anytime and nothing unpredictable stopped me from winning this game.

Now you know what I meant with ridiculous...

8-2-0

Eleventh Round vs. Stephane I. (FRA) – Empoleon

I knew I was playing Stephane this round as we haven't played yet and no one else was the same score, I believe.

Anyways I was very comfortable with the Empoleon Match-up as I could knock it out in one hit with Dark Caw and Laserbank Combo, but can also soften benched Empoleons up, so that I don't need to rely on my key cards as often.

Game 1: It was a very one-sided match as my set-up was very fast and he couldn't set-up enough Empoleons to stop my Darkrai from getting a knock-out every turn.

Garbotoxin stopping Diving Draw was really crippling his set-up and he couldn't improve his field before it was too late.

Game 2: Stephane had to Juniper away two Rare Candies right at the beginning of the game and I wondered as to how he wants to win this game if I can get my usual setup. But it really have gotten close to the end, where he used his last Rare Candy to evolve into his Dusknoir, putting both my Darkrai's in KO range. But the damage on the field wasn't enough and I've won the turn after that.

I really realize that the gap between win and draw wasn't that far from each other and I could also have tied many games I've won.

9-2-0

So with more caution, I went on to my next game, which I could already foresee.

Twelfth Round vs. Marc L. (GER) – VirGen

I knew I was playing Marc as we haven't played before and no one else had a similar score.

As we calculated that 29 Match Points would be probably enough to make the cut, we decided to take the intentional draw and I would just need one more win or draw to get into Top 8.

Marc was already safe at that time as he was 9-1-2 after our draw.

So we went to the supermarket to buy something to drink, but it was much harder than expected.

Outside was blowing a really heavy storm and we almost couldn't understand each other talking, while going there.

But at least we didn't get blown away and could return to the tournament venue shortly afterwards.

9-2-1

Thirteenth Round vs. Finn L. (GER) – VirGen/ Bouffalant/ Mewtwo/ Garbodor

I didn't expect to play a German again.

It was against Finn and our score was quite even in terms of who have won more games.

He always plays archetype decks, but modify them with special techs, that they look very unique.

I knew he was playing the VirGen/ Garbodor deck which has become a local meta-game deck in the northern part of Germany, where Finn is coming from.

It would be my first time playing against this deck, but as I didn't want to steal points from my fellow countrymen, I offered him if he'd like to tie this match.

He declined as he needed to win at least one more game to make cut as two ties wouldn't be enough, so we played it out.

Game 1: I can't exactly remember what happened in this game, but Finn didn't draw very well and needed to use his Jirachi EX to get something going. I got my set-up ready after a few rounds and could control the game with Laser and Night Spears, as he wasn't fast enough. The Bouffalant with Silver Bangle and Laser was an issue though, but I somehow got through this and won close.

Game 2: He started and his first energy was a Double Colorless Energy on his Virizion. I digged through my deck to get my Enhanced Hammer, but didn't get it. So his set-up was perfect after the next Emerald Slash and I needed to prepare for his threats. It is important to have Garbodotoxin active and have multiple attackers ready before you start attacking, otherwise you wouldn't be able to hold up against those G-Booster and Gold Breakers with Silver Bangles, which all are OHKOs.

It was really close at the end, where a late game N left us both with almost nothing in hand and where I have won the game in the last of the three extra-turns. My deck was empty, so I won as the game haven't finished and I have won Game 1. If I would have one more card in my deck I would have won the turn after that, but I'm not complaining as this could have been a draw once again.

10-2-1

As I'm now at 31 Match-Points, I'm sure to make Top 8, so I wasn't too worried about the last match.

Fourteenth Round vs. Stian N. (NO) - Darkrai/ Garbodor

He offered me to intentionally tie, as there was no real meaning to play this out. We both knew what the opponent played, so I accepted the offer and got some rest before the Top 8 started.

10-2-2

Me and Marc were both at 10-2-2 and we knew that we both were first or second seed, so we could meet in the finals if everything went well.

Top 8 vs. Lauri H. (FI) – VirGen/ Ho-Oh/ Techs aka Spookysect

Game 1:

I should have won that game easily by drawing my last 4 prizes by simply Night Spearing, but I whiffed two times and my opponent drew a Juniper from his N to 1. He had a Genesect with G-Booster and 140 DMG on his Bench and also a Virizion with 140 Damage. I decided to KO the Virizion, so that I could kept the G-Booster on his Damaged one Energy Genesect, but this was probably a misplay and i got punished. Laser Flip also was against my favor, what would have been my victory as well if he got tails.

Game 2:

I won quite comfortable.

Game 3:

It seems he doesn't have a Supporter and he started with Terrakion and attached a Fighting to it.

I random Receivered and got a N, which I obviously didn't want to play. So I just junk hunted for Random Receiver again to get my Juniper the following turn. He had the Switch and Energy Switch to a fresh Virizion and a Genesect on his Bench, which he Emerald Slashed onto. That really put me under pressure even if he didn't have a Supporter. My field was only slowly progressing whereas he could G-Booster me every moment, which was dangerous. He eventually got a supporter and the game continued normally.

In the end I was lucky with my N to 4 to get my last Hypnotoxic Laser and my last Dark Claw of my cards to seal the game, knocking out his fully set-upped Genesect.

I was hesitating with my obvious play, because I was afraid of a Ho-Oh/ Terrakion/ Energy Switch Shenaningan next round, but I had no need to be, because I knocked it out via poison.

So I won few turns later and was in Top 4, same as my friend Marc.

11-2-2

Top 4 vs. Stian N. (NO) – Darkrai/ Garbodor

Game 1:

We both had normal starts and we were lasering us almost every turn.

But the fact that his list is superior in mirror, because I didn't play Max Potion and Catcher, was hurting a little. A Catcher Heads on a three energy Darkrai was enough to tide the game in his favor and he won ultimately.

Game 2:

I had a very slow starting with a Trubbish and couldn't get any basics in play, even though I play 4 Ultra Balls. I had 2 usable Dark Patches ready in my hand, but I was just sitting there and passing. I couldn't get a basic the second turn either and my trubbish almost got knocked out by poison, but at least I could evolve it into Garbodor.

Stian doesn't have a fast start as well as he didn't get any energies for the first two turns.

The game processed were my field was slowly better than his, but due to him having a lot of unused Dark Patches, Stian was fast ready to continue the Night Spear festival.

I have made a really game-changing misplay, where I didn't go for the Night Spear on his benched Darkrai with 150 Damage on it (I have used an Escape Rope) and instead went for a Mind Jack from Absol to KO a Sableye or Trubbish, can't remember. At that time I had 4 Prizes and wanted to include a non-EX attacker into the price race to make it harder for him, but I totally oversaw the Dark Claw on his Darkrai so he could easily return KO me with the heavy damaged Darkrai the next turn. The Dark Claw is usually only helpful on Absol or Sableye in the Mirror Match, but when you need to KO an Absol it sure changes. I was too focused that Float Stone on Darkrai is superior in the mirror match, because you can switch around for free even when Garbotoxin is active, which could be a matter when poison is heavily involved.

In the end he got the catcher heads again to win this game, 1-2 turns earlier.

11-3-2

Surprisingly I wasn't really upset losing this game, because I think that Stian's list was better for the mirror match and I would've lost the third Game either way. The misplay in Game 2 was really a bummer and I'd liked to see how Game 3 would have gone without my misplay.

It was also sad, that I couldn't play my friend Marc in the finals, as he has won his Top 4 Game comfortably, but as I have tested with him, I knew he would win this match-up regardless who he is playing against. I hate placing second, losing the finals, so third isn't that bad. I guess.

Summing this weekend up, I think that it was really worth the time and effort, because I could see so many different people from different countries participating and I could play a lot of Pokemon, which I didn't had much time to do so before (but still too many rounds for my taste...).

My friend Marc winning the tournament is also a really nice feat as we have tested together and he really deserved the win after a lot of curse-of-the-firsts he had this season already.

I would really recommend other players around the globe to participate in the next ECC, as it is already well established and known in the community and the major event in Europe, surpassing all Nationals in Europe, respectively. It is a great experience and in my opinion the closest feeling to the World Championships, which is a nice experience if you plan to participate in it.

If you have read everything until here, I'm really honored that you have took your time for my report of the European Challenge Cup and I hope it was informative.

As you have noticed, the activity at 60cards.net did go down for a few weeks already, that has a reason.

The 60cards website is currently under construction and will relaunch in about 1-2 months, with a new design and new functions! Please look forward to it as it will be brand-new and many interesting articles from different quality authors awaits you.

We are also looking for new writers from all across the globe and of all backgrounds to produce content for 60cards!

If you are interested in becoming a writer for 60cards.net please send an email to martin@60cards.net  

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Steven Mao

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Steven is a well known German Pokemon player. He started to play competitively in 2007 when Diamond&Pearl was released. Has Won ECC 2011, German National Champion 2012 and made it to the top 16 at Worlds. His latest achievement is the Top 4 placement at National Championship 2013.