Interview with TOP16 Europe players!

26.5.2014 wrote: Martin Janouš in category Tournaments & OP

Hello everybody,

Today we look to TOP16 Championship points players from Europe (before nationals). I think Europe players are underrated in World because we have regionals with about 50 People and it is not enought for look of USA players. Althought it may looks like it is so easy to make invite, It is not right. When some European player wants to get invite he probably needs to go to tournaments around the Europe (same as American must go to another states). I hope you will enjoy interview with these good players. Sadly 3 of TOP16 players did not participate in interview so I choose 3 more people, who are very good in Europe.

 

1# Gawein Wagner

 Gawein Wagner

Gawein is player from Netherlands. He was player of the year last year and I am sure this year he will be again. He has 2x more Play points than others.

 

How you reach your invite? Was it hard?

I reached my invite by getting a lot of points from almost every tournament I got to. I have maxxed out LC points, Maxxed out CC points and several finals and semi-finals at the regionals. Unfortunately not all points can count and only the best so many of each but thats ok I guess. I find it hard because there are a lot of people in The Netherlands and surrounding countries that have players of high skill level. Especially The Netherlands and France. Those are the tournaments I need to show what I can do the most. Also I dont playtest or anything, I just build a deck up to scrath the evening before and tr it out on the tournament.

For these who don’t know you, can you tell us something about you?

I'm 22 years old. I live in The Netherlands. I've been playing the Pokémon TCG since japanese cards (yes, prior to english cards). I attend several leagues since they started, collect since english was released and play a lot of the VG both for fun and competitatively. I dont play a lot outside of tournaments, my decklists are always full of surprises which sometimes do not make any sense but for me work perfectly and (never)(never is not certain because I dont check lists online so I actually have no clue if someone is playing the same lists XD) identical than the list found online as far as I know. I'm really good in building decks from scratch and playing with any deck.

What is/was your favorite deck in this season? Why?

I really have no clear favorite in deck this season. Last time I had a favorite deck is a long time ago when we had delta raichu, delta exeggutor, delta togetic and delta rayquaza EX. But in present format I had a lot of fun playing my Pikachu/ninetales/amoongus/victini EX deck(for 3 tournaments). Since XY I won a lot using variants of zoroarkdecks and plasma Heatran/Plasma Landorus decks which also are nice to play with.

What deck you think is the best in field with Flashfire? Why?

There is no absolute best in current format. I see a lot of Hype decks doing well here in NL. Like Charizard or Darkrai but it is more because of the sheer number of them and the luck in pairing of those. A real fixed top 3 decks are unavailable. Just get paired right and get everyting in play on second turn decides most games in this format of a lot OHKO decks.

How you prepare for nats?

Like every year and every tournament: I don't. I hope to win for once, but with the amount of feral competition it would become difficult. I could use the trip money and hotelroom but I'm not that depending on that. It would be nice to have a trip. But I always get lucked out at the topcut in nationals since the day I started playing so I won't expect first place again xD

Just pick a deck or build a deck that you would like to play with at that moment and pley with it. Thats my motto. And dont go with the hypes xD

You had the most Play! points and this year it will be probably same. Where is your secret?

No secret. Just like to play. Have my weekends free. Can't play much at home or during league because of being a gym leader or not having people to play with. So Every time I have a free weekend I fill it with tournaments xD

Is there anything you would like to share?

Well, a lot of people want to win a lot and everything. But the most important thing is to have fun. Dont look to much in other peoples directions of what they play and how they play it. Build your own original deck from scratch. It makes playing a lot more fun for everyone. It will make the metagame more healthy as well because a lot more different decks might win something which will give a better view of how healthy the format is. And like every year at worlds, if people want one of my fake cards (souvenir cards) then come and get one ;P

Thank you for reading ;P

Greetz,

Da Pikachuman

4# Me Martin Janouš

 Martin Janouš

I took 4th place I made 682CP before nats and I am now testing for nats. I don’t think I would say something about me because I made many introduces before about myself and you can search it in my older articles J.

 

5# Martin Gulbert

 Martin Gulbert

Martin is first ranked player from France.

 

How you reach your invite? Was it hard?

Yeah, that was hard because I didn't top one time in the fall regional, I had only 15CP before the cities came and then i won 4 cities with virgen and vir/mew. That was cool. Finally i did multiple top at spring regional to reach the 500 CP

 

For these who don’t know you, can you tell us something about you?

I'm 19 years old and this is my 3rd year. In the pokémon TCG world. I went 3 times to Arnhem, I did 3-5 with durant the 1st  time then 5-3 the 2nd  time with empoleon/dusknoir and 6-2-1 the 3rd time with vir/mew so I did top.

This will be my first time at the world's championship

What is/was your favorite deck in this season? Why?

My favorite deck is virgen because i won a lot of tournament with it. It has just a few bad match-up and they are generally sub-played. This deck is also very stable

Do you think Flasfire will really change the metagame ?

druddigon is really powerful against the rain/fre dancer so we might not see a lot of kb/rayboar nowadays.  Pyroar is also powerful but the decks that were T1 before will stay strong.

How you prepare for nats?

I'm training with friends on ptcgo and in real life too

6# Mehdi Hafi

Mehdi Hafi

Mehdi is player from France as well. For me I first registered his name in the start of this season, when he has very good succes with empoleon deck.

How you reach your invite? Was it hard?

I won the two first regionals in France, and make top4 at the third. I was over 400CPs in November, ahah. I won some CP at the Cities.  1 Win, 2 top2,  1 top4 in Cities, 2 Win 1 top4 in regionals, and Day 2 at the ECC.

For these who don’t know you, can you tell us something about you?

I'm a fan of almost all TCG, Yugioh, MTG, even the recent MLP! I won the French national in 2013, and  have some achievements in French tournaments.

What is/was your favorite deck in this season? Why?

I was playing Landorus/Mewtwo/Garbodor/Drifblim(DRX) in Winter 2013/2014, and I'd always made the topcut when playing this deck!  I like the first version of Empoleon too (with Leafeon!), because it won me 400 Cps . You can say I like almost every decks with Landorus Ex or Leafeon PLF in.  And that I HATE all deck with Darkrai in it.

Do you think Flashfire will really change the metagame ?

Many decks are now afraid of some of the new cards, like Pyroar. But we don't know already what's the best way to play Pyroar and else. It had some hard counters who make it hard to play , too. There's no overpowered cards  in FLF like Darkrai Ex in DEX or Mewtwo Ex in NXD ,so it's hard to define the NXD-FLF metagame without any big tournament as reference!

How you prepare for nats?

I'm playtesting with some of my friends, I've my examinations the week juste before the nat, so I need to split my time between revisions with playtesting !

Is there anything you would like to share?

If anyone wants to add me on Facebook or TCGO for playtesting, talking about metagame and else, I'll be glad! (TCGO nickname = PrettyKunoichi)

7# Stéphane Ivanoff

Stéphane Ivanoff

One of the best player from France, who I know.

How you reach your invite? Was it hard?

The same way everyone in Europe does I think, I did well at Regionals. I secured my invite by making top 2 at the first French regionals after the release of XY, by playing Palkia EX/Trevenant/Sigilyph.

For these who don’t know you, can you tell us something about you?

I won the second and last Prague Cup in 2011, became national champion in 2012, and made top 4 at Nats in 2013. In a non-bragging-about-achievements way, I'm the number 1 (and possibly only) Farfetch'd fan in the world.

What is/was your favorite deck in this season? Why?

Empoleon! I was already a fan of the card last season, and from the rules change in November to the release of XY, I played Empoleon/Leafeon/Dusknoir exclusively, which won me more than 300 CP, including a top 8 result at the ECC. The deck was extremely versatile and could beat anything if you teched for it. It was also really underestimated and I'm pretty sure the deck was tier 1 in the NXD-LTR metagame, if not the outright BDIF.

Do you think Flasfire will really change the metagame ?

It's hard to answer this, especially as I don't want to reveal too much before the French nationals (the first one with Flashfire). It's also really hard to say what will be top tier, especially since I expect that to change during the next months. However, I'm pretty sure that Pyroar, at least for a while before the metagame becomes stable, will be in everyone's thoughts and few will risk playing a deck that loses outright to it. For that reason, I expect Virizion/Genesect to drop in popularity at least for a while. The same thing should happen with Blastoise and Rayboar, being afraid of Druddigon. Garbodor remains a safe choice, but as everyone knows that, people might want to play decks that beat it. And then there are wild cards like Miltank. Maybe it will make Empoleon rise again!

How you prepare for nats?

I have a testing group with a few fellow French players. As our Nats are the first with Flashfire, we have very little reliable information to work with, so we have to try a lot of ideas, then select the decks we may want to play, and test against what we think will be played. I also use TCGO quite a bit, to try out some decks against whatever people think is good.

Is there anything you would like to share?

If you're interested in following the French nationals, you can follow me on Twitter (@lubyllule). I will tweet in English as much as possible!

8# Martina Canto

Martina Canto

She is the only girl in TOP16.

How you reach your invite? Was it hard?

I made top at almost all the tournaments I did (except for the Hunger Games ECC LOL). It was not easy at all, since this is my first year of university and I have to study a lot for the exams. I reached the >500 points this year at my first Regional Championship (in March) and now I’m at 610 CP.

For these who don’t know you, can you tell us something about you?

I’m Martina Canto, an Italian Pokémon player. I play Pokémon since 2003 (when I was 8 years old), so this year I will play my 12th National and my 10th World Championship. I won 2 Nats in Under10 division in 2004 and in Senior division in 2008 and made a lot of good placement in past nats :)

What is/was your favorite deck in this season?

My favorite deck is Plasma because of its versatility and unpredictability with various techs. I play always plasma variants this year, but I prefer the “Britney Spears Version” (Britney Spears = Aromatisse, doesn’t she looks like the singer? xD).

What your Plasma will fight against Pyroar?

Someone use Sharpedo, others use Froslass or Latias ex...but I think that kangaskhan is a good tech too. Plasma is beautiful because you can add a lot if techs, it depends how do you play it.:)

What deck you think is the best in field with Flashfire?

Flashfire introduce a lot of new cards such Charizard, Toxicroak, Pyroar, Kangaskhan and a lot of new strategies and decks. It’s difficult to answer to this question because there are a lot of deck variants, new deck, old deck with new cards… there are a lot of things to test and I’ve not done all yet xD

How you prepare for nats?

I’m testing with daddy various decks, hope to find something cool. But right now there are just many ideas and no time to test everything xD

Is there anything you would like to share?

Oreo! Everyone wants oreo! \:D/

9# Soren Neumann (Denmark)

Soren Neumann

How you reach your invite? Was it hard?

I reached my invite by winning 2 regionals, 3 (1 of them which I didn't get any points from) cities and placing second in a third regionals. At the start of the season I did amazing, placing 2nd at the first regionals in Denmark, 1st at the second and 1st at the first city championship so I had above 300 point in the first 3 tournaments and it really felt like my year. Things then started going downhill, as 1 of the City Championships' I won got corrupted as TOM was being updated so I didn't get my 50 CP  and I was afraid of having to top 8 at nats to reach my invite. But we had 1 last regionals which I won so my invite is all locked up.

For these who don’t know you, can you tell us something about you?

I am 18 years old, abd Pokemon have been, beside my family, the biggest part of my life. I've been watching/playing Pokemon since I was 5 years old. I am currently finishing my 2 years at college and hopefully going to Manchester to study social psychology at the University of Manchester as soon as I am done.

I've been a competitive player since 2002 and my achievements are as following:
5 Regional championships wins.

7 City championships wins.

Top 8 at nationals 3 times

Placed 9th in ECC (European Challenge Cup)

Placed 17 (Did not make it for top 16 because of tie-break) at my first worlds

What is/was your favorite deck in this season? Why?

Hands down Blastoise every single tournament i've won beside 1 City Championship have been with Blastoise. Energy streaming decks have allways been my favourite and I've been proving that ever since I started playing, by winning 2 regionals with eels, and finishing 2nd at a regionals with a rogue, Darkrai/Terrakion/ho-oh deck last year. Last year I hated Blastoise as I didn't believe in the straight Blastoise/keldeo version, but when Black Kyurem EX came out I gave it a chance and it have been the sole reason I got my invite this season.

What deck you think is the best in field with Flashfire? Why?

As Flashfire only just came out I haven't been thinking that much about the best deck in the format, but stage 2 decks like Empoleon and shiftry seems to be the best in theory in my world.

How you prepare for nats?

I play test with 1 of my friends here in Denmark, and with 2 of my friends from the US over PTCGO. Also I use most of my free time studying all the cards in the format, trying out different rogue stuff, which could set my mark on the competitive scene.

Is there anything you would like to share?

Keep your eyes on Virbank! Nats streams are a big thing this year and you certainly don't want to be the 1 facing rogue decks in the first round of nats. Keep your eyes on Europe, and good luck too everybody at nats!

10# Petr Janouš

Petr Janouš

Finally my brother made TOP16 as well :-D

How you reach your invite? Was it hard?
Originally I thought I can not reach the invite this season because 500CP was too much for me. However in the first Regionals in Czech republic I made TOP8 and won second regionals two weeks later. I suddenly had 225CP. My brother said: „You should try reach the invite.“ Than I had some succeses at Cities and I went to the last part of season (I mean spring regionals) with 425CP. I luckily made TOP4 at the first regionals, which I visited (Germany, Berlin).

For these who don’t know you, can you tell us something about you?

I am more sportman than pokémon player. I love football and I everytime have hard time deciding between football match and pokémon tournament. So I often attend just big tournaments Cities and higher. I play with my brother since 2005 and I have some success. I am 2 time national champion and have big results at some regionals as well.

What is/was your favorite deck in this season? Why?
Definitelly Blastoise. I won national championship last year with Blastoise and this season I amde 500CP just with Blastoise. I feel comfortable with this deck. However I made many changes all the season with my Blastoise deck.

What deck you think is the best in field with Flashfire? Why?

I am sorry, no comentary. :-D :-D

How you prepare for nats?
I am testing now with my team. I think I have the best test team, which I can have. I am so tired in these days because I test so hard and I sleep so little.

Is there anything you would like to share?

Thank you for interview and it was my pleasure to do it. See ya in D.C.!!!

11# David Hochmann (Germany)

David Hochmann (middle)

How did you reach your invite? Was it hard?

1st City (50 CP)

3rd Regional (105)

1st Regional (150)

7th Regional (75)

2nd League Challenge (12)

6th City (20)

4th City (30)

1st City (50)

8th Regional (75)

4th Regional (105)

5th Regional (75)

4th Regional (105)

This makes a total of 852, but with the best finish limit I have a total of 627.

I thought it would be really hard, so I planed trips to nearly all the German Regionals and some Regionals in other countries like the Netherlands or France and one Regional in the UK. But I got my invite during Christmas 2013, which was faster than I expected.

For these who don’t know you, can you tell us something about you?

I have blue hairs :D

I am a 17 years old student from Germany (I'm living near cologne) and I'm working part time in the recycling section from our local supermarket (yeah in Germany we have recycling sections in the supermarkets), while doing an apprenticeship as an electrotechnical engineer and my A levels. I started playing the Pokemon TCG competitively in 2010 and got my worlds invite every year since the 2010/2011 season. The most people who know me, know me from the ECC in 2013 where I was in the finals with Darkrai Mewtwo, but I have been top 4 at the ECC 2012 and top 4 at the European Prague Cup in 2011. I never played a world championship, but I saved enough money this year.

What is/was your favorite deck in this season?

Virizion Genesect! I always try to play as many different decks as I can and that's why I played pretty much everything which was possible (especially after I got my invite). I love Virizion Genesect, because it is very strong and the most consistent deck, and I'll quote Marc Lutz here „consistency is king“.

What deck do you think is the best in field with Flashfire?

Definitely Yveltal/Garbodor. Pyroar is really hyped, but Basic Pokemon are still the best and Yveltal/Garbodor is a deck which is using only Basic Pokemon to attack with, but it can bypass Pyroar's Ability. Yveltal EX can deal more than 230 damage, so it is the best way to deal with Mega Evolutions. And Yveltal can two hit KO Pokemon very economical and you can tech cool stuff like Absol and Buffalant.

You had nats without the new edition flashfire. Was it advantage or disadvantage and what was your results?

The advantage was that I have been able to play Virizion Genesect (Hochmannsect), but I had to play against 3 RayBoar, managed to win against one of them, but I lost against a Plasma with Moltres...

But Hochmannsect won in in the Seniors division (played by Dario Van Meenen) and went top 8 in the Masters division (played by David Sturm) so I knew it was just a little bad luck and I am happy that it worked for other people.

Is there anything you would like to share?

I am really looking forward for the World Championship, because there are a lot of cool and nice players from Germany an other European countries this year.

PS: Niklas Lehnert-Rappel is the king ;)

12# Merlin Quittek (Germany)

Merlin Quittek

How you reach your invite? Was it hard?

 It was very easy. There were many regionals in Germany, so almost everyone that played for it, got it in the end (sometimes thanks to conceding players that already had their invite).

 

For these who don’t know you, can you tell us something about you?

 I started playing in the 2006/2007 season and participated at 2 world championships so far (2011&2013). I finished 3rd at the Prague European Cup 2011, 3rd at German nationals 2010 and 1st at the German nationals 2011.

 

What is/was your favorite deck in this season?

Genesect/Virizion because almost nobody could play the mirror and it only loses to emboar.

What deck you think is the best in field with Flashfire? I have not tested anything yet, but i think Yveltal/Garbodor should be pretty good.

 

You had nats without new edition flashfire. Was it advantage or disadvantage and what was your results?

The only advantage was that Genesect was still Tier 1. I would have liked playing with FF, so the German nationals would have been the first tournament with it and nobody could have known, what would have been the play. I went 6-2, finishing as the 11th place. The cut was Top 8 out of 180.

 

13# Alessandro Cremascoli (Italy)

Alessandro Cremascoli

 

How you reach your invite? Was it hard?

I won one SPT and made 3 top 4 on other SPT this year , also city and challenge results . I gained my invite earliest than last year and always playing Rougue deck like Dragonite , Palkia , Ampharos and Stoutland . I think this year was more easy also for the high number of tournament  in Europe .

For these who don’t know you, can you tell us something about you?

I’m 22 and I from Italy . I’m two times National Champion and this year will be my seventh times at Wolrds . Unfortunately I’m not good like Martin for do a top on it !! :P

What is/was your favorite deck in this season?
I saw the same deck in every tournament this season so I’m very fed up about Darkrai , Genesect and Plasma . I played Palkia/Trevenant and Stoutlad and made top with that . I like that kind of decks. 

What deck you think is the best in field with Flashfire?
I don’t think that any pokemon of a new set can beat the old decks . I see a lot of Charizard, Pyroar and Kangaskhan but none of this can beat Darkrai or Blastoise . I hope the English and French Nats can be wrong me .

How you prepare for nats?
Playing , playing and playing ! I must admit that PTCGO was a beautiful invection very usefull for Everyone who want to test new decks . I have a group of friends who test with me every weeks but each of us play online their decks before built .

Is there anything you would like to share?
I want to say good luck to every player that don’t play his Nats yet . I hope to do well on mine and going to Washington like champ but I know it’s hard . So , see you soon I guess . DrCaterpie say Hello !!

14#  Luca Clavadetscher (Switzerland)

Luca Clavadetscher

How you reach your invite? Was it hard?

I got my points essentially from Cities and Regional Championships. I got 4th at a Regional in November then got something like 170 points from Cities. Finally got 1st and top4 at 2 other Regionals during the spring. Played a couple of League Challenges but it’s not really significative to get the invite. I think the difficult part was adapting to to the new tournament system with 50 minutes and best of 3 and i couldn’t make topcut in my first two Regionals in November because i wasn’t completely sure about the ties and the necessary time to win 2 games. When the season progressed i was able to play better in this settings.

For these who don’t know you, can you tell us something about you?

Well, i’m a player from Switzerland and I really like travelling to play international events. I’m also a huge sports fan, particularly tennis and soccer.

What is/was your favorite deck in this season?

My favourite deck this season was Blastoise with Keldeo EX and Black Kyurem EX. I’ve liked Blastoise forever and when it was released in Boundaries Crossed, i knew i would play it a lot. I made top32 with it last year at Worlds and made a lot of topcuts this season with it so i had quite some success with this deck.

What deck you think is the best in field with Flashfire?

I honestly didn’t get the chance to explore Flashfire since my Nationals didn’t allow it but i think that like everyone i’m going to try Charizard EX with Blacksmith. And i’ve also always like the concept of lock decks so i will probably try something with Malamar.

You had nats without new edition flashfire. Was it advantage or disadvantage and what was your results?

I think it was an advantage for me because i knew my matchups by heart and there was no real new trick that could surprise me.  I didn’t have to run around to get the cards from Flashfire in time and to think about a new metagme with new concepts. I’ve played Blastoise so much that i knew how to adapt in almost every match up, Garbodor still being a hard one. My result was 4-0-2 for the Swiss rounds and i went all the way to the finals where i met my good friend Luc.

Is there anything you would like to share?

I encourage everyone who likes Pokémon to try Leagues and tournaments near them and i know i had and will continue to have lots of fun while playing and collecting Pokémon.

16# Goncalo Ferreira (Portugal)

How you reach your invite? Was it hard?

This year i participated in 5 regionals, 1 city and the ECC, but i won the points in 4 regionals. Earn this points was a very tough battle, because in portugal we have world class players, to get an idea this year are already qualified 6 portugueses for the world championship. So as you can see was a very difficult battle.

For these who don’t know you, can you tell us something about you?

I play pokemon competitively since 2009, this wil be my fourth consecutive worlds, since 2011. I won the portuguese nacional in 2011 with dialgachomp, in 2012, i lost in the final against igor costa with darkray/mewtwo/terrakian, i won a few citys and regionals here in portugal. Besides pokemon i´am taking the pilot course and i work at lisbon airport.

What is/was your favorite deck in this season? Why?

My favorite deck this year is virgen, this season i only played with virgen because i always thought that was the most consistent deck in the format, i think virgen has a great matchup against the other decks in the format because the deck has energy acceleration, is not affected by special condition and can give 200. That´s why i played virgen all season.

What deck you think is the best in field with Flashfire? Why?

With the new set i think virgen will lost some strength, that´s why i think the best  deck in format right now is yvetal garbodor, i guess in this format is very important play a deck that stop abilities, we have other´s decks which could play garbo but in this moment i think the best deck playing with garbo is yvetal and darkray because they have energy acceleration with dark patch and a very important pokemon,  SABLEYE allowing recover trainers during the game.

How you prepare for nats?

I test a lot with my friend igor costa , paulo silva, tiago teodoro, david ferreira and gonçalo pereira, these are the other five portugueses  who got the invite to worlds. Sometimes i speak with mike diaz and we discuss deck ideias, what kind of metagame we´ll have in the future etc....

 

Is there anything you would like to share?

Thank you for this interview, good luck to all for nationals and i hope to see you at worlds.

Special players:

Karl Peters German national champion

Karl Peters

How you reach your invite? Was it hard?

 

Actually it wasn’t really hard for me. I had kind of a break last year but 13 weeks before the German National I decided to give  the Pokémon Traiding Card Game another try and started to play it on a more serious level again. Fortunately, I shouldn’t regret this decision – I’ve won 1 Regional and two times I’ve gone Top 4.  Blessedly my lucky streak didn’t leave me during the National this year.  So, now I‘ m looking forward for Washington, because I got my Invite.

For these who don’t know you, can you tell us something about you?

Sure, my name is Karl Peters and I’m from Berlin. I’m 21 years old and started to play this card game 15 years ago. Since then, I’ve won 16 Cities, 4 States, 11 Regionals. In addition I won 3 flights at the Nationals and one time I’ve been the Top 32 during the Worlds. Well, and last but not least I’m the national winner of Germany this year.

What is/was your favorite deck in this season? Why?

My favourite deck was Genesect Virizion. If you ask me, it’s the best deck to put your opponent under pressure and currently you’re able to decide which monster you’re going to kill. I’m convinced that it’s the most flexible deck you can have by now.

 

What deck you think is the best in field with Flashfire? Why?

Well, in that case I would recommend Yvelta Gabodor, because it overrules Shift Decks and at the same time it puts pressure on Charizard Ex.

Your nationals was without Flashfire. Was it Adventage or disadventage for you? Would you like to play with Flashfire?

I would say, that it was more an advantage for me. I’m convinced, that as a professional player you’ll be able to plan your next step more clearly. Furthermore I’ve been able to analyse my rivals due to the previous regionals.

Is there anything you would like to share?

Maybe that I cross my fingers for every European player, because I really hope that this year one of us will bet he lucky one, who takes the prize home.

 

See you in Washington guys!

Marc Lutz – Winner of European Challange Cup

Marc Lutz

How did you reach your invite? Was it hard?

 

In a sense, yea. I didn't want to play a lot of tournaments so I had to do good at the ones I attended and that certainly worked out! I couldn't playtest for most of the season which resulted in me going into these tournaments very poorly prepared and also testing decks "on the go", realizing after a few games that some cards are off but I did always rely on my skills from previous seasons and it surely did the trick a few times! Here's a breakdown of my season:

 

0 LC

 

3 CC

1st 50 CP

2nd 40 CP

Top8 20 CP

110 CP

 

4 Regionals

1st 150 CP

2nd 135 CP

Top8 75 CP

Top8 75 CP

435 CP

 

Nationals

3rd 500 CP

500 CP

 

= 1045 CP

For these who don't know you, can you tell us something about you?

I started playing competitively in 2008 and have been a force to be reckoned with ever since. I’ve made deep runs in big tournaments all over Europe, including my ECC win in 2014 and have qualified for Worlds every time but once since I started playing.

Here’s a quick overview of my past accomplishments:

 

ECC/Benelux Cup

1x 1st Place

1x Top 4

1x Top 8

1x Top 16

 

German Nationals

3x Top 4

1x Top 8

2x Top 16

1x Top 32

 

States/Regionals

5x 1st Place

Several 2-4th Place

 

Qualified for Worlds 5 times, attended 3 times

3rd Place at the Prague European Cup 2010

A ton of CC/BR wins

What is/was your favorite deck in this season? Why?

All the CP I earned this season are thanks to Virizion/Genesect, so I guess that's my favorite deck! The reason I prefer Genesect over Darkrai, Yveltal, Plasma or Stage 2s is that the Deck has a lot of room for consistency and techs and wins just by going first most of the time. It shuts off HTL, one of the most annoying cards printed, has energy acceleration, free retreat with Sky Arrow Bridge, an Ace Spec that just crushes souls and a ton of Pokémon Catcher thanks to the built-in ability! If that doesn't convince you I don't think anything I say at this point matters so I'm just going to leave it at that.

What deck do you think is the best in the field with Flashfire?

I would like to keep that to myself for the moment with Worlds coming up, but I'm pretty sure that Yveltal(/Garbodor) is the way to go.

You had Nationals without Flashfire. Do you think it was advantage or disadvantage?

I think it was a huge advantage, at least for myself, mainly because my favorite Deck would be easily *the play* for Nats and I feel very confident in my mirror match chances, which resulted in me not playtesting a lot and also not having to worry about some weird fire rogue deck that could ruin everything. Especially with the new top cut system (8 rounds top8 with 180+ Masters...) it is very important to get good or average matchups to make it 6-1-1 or better in order to advance.

Is there anything you would like to share?

I heard a lot of whining about the 50+3/draw rules. Play more VirGen and you'll be surprised how these rules are actually just fantastic ;)

Stefan Weber – Austria runner-up

Stefan Weber

How you reach your invite? Was it hard?

My season was quite good, with good positions at each tournament. Out of 8 tournaments, I was in Top 8 or better.
Here are my standings:
2x Top 4 Regional Championships

1x Top 8 Regional Championships

1x - 1st City Championships

1x - 2nd City Championships

1x - 1st League Challenge

2nd – SPE Super Nova Blast 2 – Milan Italy

2nd Austrian Nationals

 

Well, it was a very hard way to my invite, because Austria hadn’t a lot of tournaments and less Pokemon Leagues, but luckily Austria has some neighboring  countries with more players and tournaments.
Now I’m on 950CP and managed to get my invite at our last tournament – nationals, where I finished 2nd.

For these who don’t know you, can you tell us something about you?

Yeah, sure! My name is Stefan Weber, I’m 21 and study Chemistry in Austria. I play Pokemon competitive for more than 5 years now. I won nationals in Masters 2012 and played at Worlds in Hawaii same year too. 
My best training partner – and that’s why I’m so sucessful – is my younger brother Alex, who won Nationals 3 times and was Top 16 at Worlds 2013 in Vancouver.

Pokemon is the greatest hobby I’ve ever had and I won’t miss it in my life.

 

What is/was your favorite deck in this season? Why?

That’s an interesting question.  I think I don’t have a favorite deck, but if I must choose one, I would take Genesect/Virizion. I played it at lot of tournaments in different ways. With Mewtwo like it was popular in autumn or Garbodor in early spring, with Mewtwo and Bouffalant or at least with Roserade and Raichu.
The deck has all it needs to be strong and fast. You only need one Pokemon (Virizion) to set up and thin out your deck easily. The fact that it is so variable makes it so strong and incalculable.
Well, you can put all attackers in, that need only colorless energy to counter your countries meta game.

After the new set is out I like Yveltel/Garbodor most, because it isn’t in this cycle –Grass-Fire- Water-.

Now that fire decks get more attention, Genesect would be less played, I think and Fire is getting stronger and stronger.

With Yveltal Ex you can OHKO each fire, grass and water Pokemon and Garbodor gives you an additional help to Pokemon with abilities.
One more point, I like to go into is Sableye which is the key card in most of my games. His attack “Junk Hunt” makes it easier to set up and by some time while slow down your opponent with Enhanced Hammer or Laser. Also you get only one price for a knock out and your opponent need to knock out 3 more Pokemon Ex to win.

 

What deck you think is the best in field with Flashfire? Why?
Puh, this one is pretty tough. It’s really hard to say, directly while we had the first nationals with the new set.

 At the moment I would say, that Yveltal/Garbdor will be still one of the best decks in the format. Fire decks will be strong too, especially the new Charizard Ex with the 150 damage attack and the Mega one (Dragon version). Probably with a combination of Yveltal, because of the darkness energy can be pretty good.  Another good fire is Reshiram Ex, which has the same attack as Charizard Ex but his first attack is better. Maybe we should have a look at that one too.
At least, the new card Druddigon makes it hard for Black Kyurem and Rayquaza to exist. Most players will play at least one of them in each deck!

You played first nats in eEurope with Flashfire. Was it advantage or disadvantage? Would you like play more without Flashfire?

It has a little bit of both. On the one hand it was an advantage due to the fact that nobody can assess the actual meta game. Well, of course we know which decks will be popular now but in my opinion there was to less time to test things out for a win.
On the other hand it was a little bit disadvantages too, because we had only 7 days to get all cards we needed if we wanted to play Flashfire cards. - Thanks to all who lend me some cards for nationals, I hadn’t enough time to get them -.

I started testing with the new set a month ago. We tested a lot with Flasfire but couldn’t find a deck in this short time to win nationals with it. So we took a look at the old meta, which deck would be the best now and choose Yveltal/Garbodor because of his good match ups in old format and now that Genesect get less attention, cause of fire it should works perfect.
After nationals, I like to test more with the new set and build some new decks. I’m really excited what won nationals in other countries.

Is there anything you would like to share?

Yes. The Pokemon TCG is a great game. I met so nice people in my life and find some friends all over the world. The support from all these guys makes this game better than everything else.
I see you all in Washington =)

I hope you enjoyed interviews

Martin „Onix“ Janouš

 

 

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Martin Janouš

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He is playing from 2005. He is known as Onix. His top achievements : Top 32 Worlds 2013, Main Event Worlds 2009 from LCQ, Nationals Champion 2006, 2007 (Seniors); 2012 (Masters), 5x Worlds competitor. He is also known for his unpredictible playstyle. He usually plays Lock. His favorite deck was Chen Lock.