Today’s article was written by Preston Porter, proud player and Poke-parent from the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.
As a father, seeing my children succeed is one of the greatest feelings ever. I had the unique opportunity to not only see my son succeed at Daytona Regionals, but myself as well. This was the first time for either of us to make day two at any regional championship, so it came as quite a shock that we were both able to make it so far. Today I’ll be sharing a bit about our tournament prep, our lists, and of course our tournament reports.
In the past, I have made the mistake of changing my play or my son’s play within a week of the tournament. “I finally figured out the meta…” I’d say to my son. This year we’re trying to establish some consistency at least a month prior to any regional that we play in. We decided that Lucas would play Gardevoir GX and I would go with a Drampa GX/Garbodor build. This was the one time that we actually stuck with the decks that we prepared with, and I feel like it truly made a difference.
I’ve been researching the topic of deliberate practice as of late. The basic premise is that practice is most effective when the person practicing deliberately does it without being told. The research showed that the difference between greatness and mediocrity wasn’t due to some inherited skill, but it’s in fact due to one’s effort that they put into the skill.
Using this information, I went to my son to see what he wanted. We determined that we were both going to try for our first Worlds invites this year. In order to place my focus on obtaining my invite, I decided that I would quit all of my other hobbies to make my sole focus Pokemon.
Lucas and I settled on our decks in September and got to work. We were each other’s main testing partners, so I had to challenge him with various decks that I felt he might face. This approach ultimately paid off due to Lucas only facing the main two decks that we prepared for in day one (Night March and Darkrai). The only problem that presented itself was that I wasn’t preparing to use my deck; I was testing other builds that were more common and likely to be seen in the Junior meta. This problem culminated in my top 8 match up with Gustavo Wada when I made some simple misplays that could have made a difference.
Going into the tournament, I had my doubts about my deck choice – a recurring theme for me. Luckily for me, my friend/teammate Long Bui talked me into sticking with my deck choice. It was hard to convince me at that point: Long had beaten me badly in our test games the night before the tournament, and it made me afraid of my Golisopod GX and Trevenant match ups. I wanted that magic deck that just beat everything in the meta, but truth be told, I’m glad that I stuck with what I knew well.
Lucas (Gardevoir GX – Junior Division)
Preston (Drampa GX/Garbodor – Master Division)
Lucas’s Day One Matchups (Juniors)
Round 1: Night March WW
Round 2: Darkrai WLW
Round 3: Darkrai WW
Round 4: Night March WL T
Round 5: Darkrai W
Round 6: Intentional Draw
Preston’s Day One Matchups (Masters)
Round 1: Tapu Bulu GX/Vikavolt W
Round 2: Tapu Bulu GX/Vikavolt WW
Round 3: Tool Drop WW
Round 4: Turtles WLW
Round 5: Tool Drop LL
Round 6: Turbo Darkrai EX WLW
Round 7: Darkrai GX LWL
Round 8: Lapras GX WLW
Round 9: Archie’s Blastoise WLW
Thoughts on Day One
Throughout the day, I kept being motivated by Lucas and my other teammates that continually pushed us onward. Each time he came back with a success, I – oddly enough – had my own to share with him. This was awkward because I was unable to be there for his final day one standings getting posted, as I was starting my round seven games and had to focus on the task at hand. Day one was exhausting for both of us, and I was emotionally drained for sure. Of course I was proud of the work that we had put in to get to that point, but I knew that was only the start.
I slowly started to believe that I perhaps did belong in this field. I don’t believe that my son goes through self-doubt the same way that I do, so I certainly admire that in him. He has a very unique and kind spirit – the sort of kid who can tell you that you’re wrong yet have you smiling about it. He definitely kept me going for day two, especially in the face of all these tough competitors.
Lucas’s Day Two Matchup
Top 8 Necrozma GX Garbodor WLL
Preston’s Day Two Matchups
Round 10: Golisopod GX Garbodor WW
Round 11: Tool Drop WLW
Round 12: Trevenant LW T
Round 13: Golisopod GX/Zoroark WLW
Round 14: Intentional Draw
Top 8: Night March LL
Thoughts on Day Two
Lucas is a little fuzzy on his top eight matchup. I couldn’t watch due to playing, but I do know that he whiffed an Energy for two consecutive turns with a Professor Sycamore and Colress played in those turns. He would have won the series if he hit one.
Part of me was worried that Lucas would be disappointed in not making it past Top 8, but that thought went away as soon as I saw his happy face after my round – there truly isn’t much that gets that kid down. He was cheering for me in the same way that I would for him. I was proud of my 3-0-2 day two record that had me as the third seed going into Top 8. There I got crushed by Gustavo Wada’s Night March deck, but by that point, I felt like I had accomplished what I had set out to do. I proudly bowed out to a better-prepared opponent.
This experience was one that I will remember for quite some time. We set out this season to both get our Worlds invites, and now we’re well on our way to achieving that goal. It was truly a special father/son experience that was more than I could have asked for. I’m proud to be a Pokedad. I love the bond that it brings to our family. I know that I’ve taught my son not only how to win, but how to bow out gracefully.
I have a ton of people to thank for their help. First off there’s Kathryne, my wife. She watched our younger son, Link, and packed the hotel up while we were playing. She also put up with way too many test games at home. Secondly, I’d like to thank all of my teammates in Mad Pullz for always helping me with everything that I’ve ever needed. Special thanks to Long for convincing me to play my deck right after pummeling me. And Frank, you’re still my Same 60 bro. Lastly, thanks to John Kettler for all of the support and getting me to write this article.
Feel free to shoot me any questions that you may have. This article was mainly to go over our father/son tournament experience. I can provide more detailed answers on deck analysis if need be.