Ballooning with the Hiao Lele – Oceania Internationals 2017 Top 32 Report

March 24th, 2017 | Posted by Martin Tan in Team Reports

Introduction

Greetings to all, I’m Martin Tan, also known among my peers in the Singapore VGC community as mewmart. I last wrote a team report in 2015 after my Top 32 finish at the inaugural Singapore Nationals Championships. It feels really surreal to once again be able to share with the community my thoughts, reflections, and insight on the VGC 2017 season thus far.

I sat out VGC16 due to school and work commitments, and do not regret it. The power creep was simply too much for my playstyle to handle, and in my opinion the metagame soon grew stale. With the advent of Sun and Moon, I made my return to VGC, ready for the wonders that the Alolan Pokedex had to offer in competitive play.

Building up to the Oceania International Championships in Melbourne

Due to the high Championship Point (CP) bar of 400 for Oceania region players, the Oceania International Championships (IC) held in Melbourne was viewed as a key tournament that Worlds hopefuls had to participate and do well in. Not wanting to miss out on this rare opportunity to gain significant CPs, I decided to make my push by quickly booking the flight tickets way ahead of time once it was announced.

I made my breakthrough this season at the Malaysia Open held in December 2016, where I finished in the Top 8 with the team featured just below. It was built along with Reuven and Wei Wen, with contributions from Phoebe as well.

Owing to the rapid pace of change in the VGC17 metagame, the Malaysian Open team soon became obsolete. I kept up with metagame trends around the world by constantly reading Trainer Tower and various Japanese blogs, and soon fell in love with the Arcanine/Tapu Fini/Kartana core (AFK). I proceeded to pilot the below team to a Singapore Midseason Showdown 3rd place finish, losing to Bryan Wong’s Choice Scarf Nihilego-centred team.

In the immediate buildup to Melbourne though, I did not do well in the Malaysian MSS, bubbling out of CPs at 18th place. This forced me to consider the weaknesses of my AFK iteration (lack of speed control and pivoting options), and I told myself that I needed to regroup before going for the big prize in Melbourne. I decided to retire the team and try something entirely new. Up till the very day I was about to board the plane, I was still busy discussing and changing spreads and moves (I strongly discourage this by the way), settling on a team only when I touched down in Melbourne.

I drew inspiration from the teams piloted by top players in the GEICO One Nation of Gamers (ONOG) Invitational tournament, released to the public on Trainer Tower. I found Drifblim, used by 2015 World Champion Shoma Honami, to be an interesting choice as speed control. Paired with Tapu Lele to activate Psychic Seed and thus the Unburden ability, it becomes a fast user of Tailwind and other support options. With these two Pokemon forming my base, my new team came together as I added subsequent members.

The team in detail


Drifblim @ Psychic Seed
Ability: Unburden
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 132 Def / 164 SpA / 4 SpD / 204 Spe
Timid Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Will-O-Wisp
– Tailwind
– Shadow Ball
– Sunny Day

After Shoma’s victory in the ONOG tournament, Drifblim has dramatically risen in usage as a fast Tailwind setter that cannot be affected by non-Scrappy Fake Out. I wanted my Drifblim to be an answer to Pelipper-Golduck, so I opted for Sunny Day over Shoma’s choice of Rain Dance. It was also my method of denying Aurora Veil from Ice Pokemon such as Alolan Ninetales, Alolan Sandslash and Vanilluxe. This, however, boosts opposing Arcanine’s power under the sun, which was something I had to play around.

I took Shoma’s spread and switched the Speed and SpA EVs around. This allowed me to outspeed Modest Swift Swim Golduck after Unburden is activated. The rest of the spread I left untouched, and it did its job pretty well providing the speed control my team needed.


Tapu Lele @ Life Orb
Ability: Psychic Surge
Level: 50
EVs: 44 HP / 44 Def / 252 SpA / 4 SpD / 164 Spe
Modest Nature
IVs: 0 Atk
– Psychic
– Moonblast
– Dazzling Gleam
– Protect

My guardian of choice. Before the IC, I was deciding between Tapu Fini and Tapu Lele. I was pretty conflicted since I ran both in the Singapore MSS, and each did significant work for me. I decided to go with just Lele, and did not regret my choice. However, I ended up replacing Taunt with Dazzling Gleam, a move that I do regret as it weakened my Trick Room matchup in general. I would consider putting Taunt back should I use this team again in the future.

I chose Life Orb to maintain a high damage output without having to restrict myself with Choice Specs, a set which I expected would catch on following the ONOG tournament. I ran 44 HP EVs, but in hindsight should have used 28 EVs since that hits the Life Orb number I was looking for. 164 Speed EVs guarantee that I outspeed Adamant Gyarados before it can Dragon Dance, and hit a speed stat of 272 after Tailwind, comfortably outspeeding threats such as Scarf Nihilego.


Xurkitree
Ability: Beast Boost
Level: 50
IVs: 0 Atk
– Dazzling Gleam
– Thunderbolt
– Energy Ball
– Protect

The surprise member of the team, the slot was initially occupied by Tapu Koko instead of this dancing Christmas tree, but I felt that Koko lacked the bulk and ability to pivot. Drawing inspiration from various sources, I decided to explore Xurkitree as a potential replacement option.

The spread that I used was pivotal in retaining bulk while also dishing out important damage. Due to the likelihood of me using this Pokemon again, I am unable to reveal the exact EVs and item (my sincere apologies). It has caught many opponents by surprise, thanks to the coverage its moveset offers, and definitely did not disappoint when called upon.


Arcanine @ Aguav Berry
Ability: Intimidate
Level: 50
EVs: 76 HP / 196 Atk / 28 Def / 12 SpD / 196 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Flare Blitz
– Extreme Speed
– Roar
– Protect

My Intimidate user of choice in this team, who is also by far the most common in the current VGC 2017 metagame. The previous iteration of this team ran an Electrium Z variant with Wild Charge, primarily to address the Tapu Fini component of the numerous AFK teams, but I decided to bring a more support-oriented set to the IC. Roar was my answer to any potential Eevee cheese teams, and other setup reliant teams in general (I’m looking at you Snorlax). It also ended up being my only method of denying Trick Room from being set up.

I ran enough EVs to hit a speed stat of 140, so as to outspeed max speed Smeargle. I used the defensive bulk of Park Sejun’s Firium Z Arcanine as my foundation. and took out EVs from Attack to reach my speed benchmark. However, the choice of the 50% Berry is a debatable one. Over the entire course of the IC, the Berry rarely activated with my opponent’s attacks simply KOing through the damage threshold. Because of that, Sitrus Berry might be more fitting, and is something I would consider changing to if I were to use this Arcanine again.


Garchomp @ Groundium Z
Ability: Rough Skin
Level: 50
EVs: 4 HP / 252 Atk / 4 Def / 44 SpD / 204 Spe
Adamant Nature
– Earthquake
– Poison Jab
– Rock Slide
– Protect

  • -1 252+ Atk Garchomp Tectonic Rage (180 BP) vs. 252 HP / 252 Def Muk-Alola: 212-252 (100 – 118.8%) — guaranteed OHKO
  • 252+ Atk Garchomp Tectonic Rage (180 BP) vs. 68 HP / 4 Def Garchomp: 175-207 (91.1 – 107.8%) — 50% chance to OHKO
  • 252+ Atk Garchomp Poison Jab vs. 252 HP / 4 Def Tapu Bulu: 180-212 (101.6 – 119.7%) — guaranteed OHKO
  • 252+ Atk Garchomp Tectonic Rage (180 BP) vs. 244 HP / 156 Def Eviolite Porygon2: 105-124 (54.9 – 64.9%) — guaranteed 2HKO

The land shark spanning so many VGC formats, Garchomp quickly established itself as a direct answer to a majority of the metagame. I adopted this spread from the 7th Place Battle Spot team and have had no regrets. The one change I made to the moveset was to drop Fire Fang for Rock Slide, since I felt I had enough solutions to Kartana already, and Rock Slide flinches are too good to pass up 😛

Adamant Garchomp just hits so hard, even 1HKOing every possible Alolan Muk variant through Figy Berry using Tectonic Rage after Intimidate. It gives me a good chance of KOing other Garchomps with Tectonic Rage, as well as typical Tapu Bulu spreads with Poison Jab. Also important to note how I needed Garchomp to do as much damage as possible to Porygon2, since in combination with Lele I can do enough to knock it out before it can Trick Room, something my team can ill afford since my only other way to stop it is Roar.

As described by Ricardo in his report, the Speed was to outspeed Adamant 252 Speed Arcanine and Modest 252 Speed Tapu Lele. The remaining EVs were just dumped in Special Defense to allow Garchomp to survive stray Ice Beams from unboosted Porygon2.


Kartana @ Focus Sash
Ability: Beast Boost
Level: 50
EVs: 252 Atk / 4 SpD / 252 Spe
Jolly Nature
– Leaf Blade
– Smart Strike
– Sacred Sword
– Detect

Kartana, the paper samurai. Pretty standard spread and moveset with nothing much to explain. Detect was more for my paranoia about Imprison users such as Muk. Focus Sash was my item of choice due to its consistency, despite having experimented with Enosh Shachar’s Scope Lens variant. (Disclaimer: I don’t really consider it cheese, but it’s just darn inconsistent.)

Before the tournament

After arriving at  Tullamarine Airport, we headed over to Flinders Street, Abode Apartments. I highly recommend this place for future VGC tournaments in Melbourne as it’s really near to the venue! It was only about a 10 minute walk to Melbourne Park Function Centre. We proceeded to explore using the free trams roaming the city. Here are just some of the highlights! We even met some fellow Southeast Asians in Malaysians Ismat and Brian Lee when we ventured into Queen Victoria Market. We bought tons of macademia nuts, and Melvin bought some keychains as souvenirs too.

 

Other fellow Singaporeans joined us after checking in at the competition venue, and these were the goodies that each competitor got!

Team Singapore gathered for a group photo, before we separated and went back to Flinders to rest up before the tournament.

From hereon, I will try my best to describe my matches as best I can remember them, since I only recorded moves and key items.

Day 1 of Oceania IC

Round 1: Hugh Ronzani (AUS) (Win 2-1)

Hugh was a really nice guy and we both chatted for a while before the set began. I found out in the end that he had qualified for the 2013 World Championships held in Vancouver, so right from the start I was facing some strong opponents. As expected, the set was no walk in the park. He surprised me with Gigavolt Havoc from Tapu Koko and instantly KOed my Drifblim (luckily I set up the Tailwind before going down), but I took Game 1 with some good conservation and being able to check Celesteela with Arcanine. He also revealed some cool techs such as Bulldoze on Gastrodon as his form of speed control, and Kasib Berry Calm Mind Tapu Lele. He made a misplay in the decisive Game 3 which cost him the set, by allowing my Xurkitree to pick up the KO on Celesteela instead of double-targeting it with Heavy Slam and High Jump Kick from Pheromosa.

Round 2: Baris Akcos (GER) (Lose 1-2)

I was quite intimidated when I knew I was paired up with one of the top German players in Round 2, but he was running a pretty meta team. He read me like a book in Game 1 and revealed Firium Z on Arcanine, with Roar as well. He made a very smart play in Game 1 by Roar-ing his own Muk out to Garchomp to maintain intense pressure on my team, and I couldn’t recover from there. I managed to take Game 2 with some hard reads after recognising a defensive posture in his playstyle, and capitalising on his constant switches. However, he got the better of me by instantly KO-ing my Garchomp with a Choice Scarf Tapu Lele Moonblast in Game 3, which had not been revealed up to that point. Losing Garchomp on Turn 1 soon snowballed to further loss in momentum, and I couldn’t recover in time to take the set. Well played 🙂

Round 3: Jimmy Farrugia (AUS) (Win 2-0)

His team appeared very unorthodox but I could quickly identify the main threat (i.e. Trick Room mode) to my team. In Game 1, I quickly nuked the Slowking with a Tectonic Rage from Garchomp. His Incineroar did a lot of work using Darkest Lariat and had good bulk (managing to trigger Aguav Berry), so I had to dispose of it as soon as possible before its Fire attacks started to wreak too much havoc. His Vikavolt was his alternative speed control option, with String Shot. However, I conserved my Garchomp and Arcanine well in both Games 1 and 2 to keep it in check, to the point of me not seeing any of its other moves besides String Shot and Bug Buzz.  After stopping Trick Room in both games, I emerged as the eventual winner of the round.

Round 4: Jeremy Rose (AUS) (Win 2-1)

Jeremy’s team was also an unorthodox one. With Surf Milotic paired with Gastrodon to give it Storm Drain boosts, I was overwhelmed by the constant damage output in Game 1 and unable to pivot well enough to respond. In Game 2 I switched things up by bringing Xurkitree to pressure the 2 Water Pokemon, and an important Energy Ball managed to take down his Gastrodon early in the game. I conserved Garchomp for the Arcanine and Marowak and was able to take Game 2 convincingly. Game 3 he changed things up by bringing his Tapu Bulu to attempt to win the terrain war, but again a well-timed Poison Jab from Garchomp took care of it, and I managed to snag Game 3. Well played too Jeremy! ^_^

Round 5: Brenden Robeson (AUS) (Win 2-0)

Brenden’s team was in fact an exact copy of Gavin Michael’s hard Trick Room team and I knew I had to deny the Trick Room no matter what before it overran my team. In Game 1, he managed to pull out some techs such as Z-Destiny Bond and really caught me off guard with some unexpected plays. However, he did not manage to fully capitalise on setting up Belly Drum with Snorlax, and I managed to take the game from there. Kartana also did a lot of work for me, disposing of the Snorlax and Mimikyu, and even sacrificed itself via a trade with Destiny Bond in Game 2. He did not change his four Pokemon in the second game, and I managed to deny the Trick Room from going up, taking the game from there as well.

Round 6: Yuya Tada (JPN) (Win 2-1)

This was in my opinion a controversial game as I got lucky with a Flare Blitz Burn in Game 2. His Garchomp was therefore unable to net the key KOs in the mirror match, and I took Game 2 as a result.

In Game 1, his Whimsicott caused a lot of problems, denying my Tailwind (though not unexpected since Drifblim is not protected by Psychic Terrain) and using Endeavor to chip my Pokemon within KO range. His Arcanine had Helping Hand, which compensated for the bulky nature of his team by allowing him to net KOs. His Arcanine also picked up an important KO on my Tapu Lele which led me to assume it was max Speed. In Game 3, I managed to outwit him with some key reads and took out Garchomp as quickly as possible, conserving Arcanine to check his Celesteela.

After we shook hands, Zong Ying then told me I had played against the 2016 Battle Road Gloria Champion. I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to stand my own against such a strong Japanese player. I would like to take this opportunity also to apologise for the hax that cost him Game 2.

Round 7: Labhaoisa Cromie (UK) (Lose 2-1)

I had completely no idea what to expect from this team, and was completely outclassed in Game 1, when the Porygon-Z set up Trick Room. I found out later that a variant of this strategy had been piloted and popularised by Markus Stadter, so I should have better anticipated it. In fact, interestingly enough, our own Matthew Hui was piloting almost an exact variant! Once she set up Trick Room and sent in Gigalith, her Choice Banded Gigalith Rock Slides completely steamrolled me. I adjusted for Game 2 by deploying my Arcanine tech to deny Trick Room and managed to take it from there. In Game 3 however, she deployed the exact same strategy (to my surprise), and I could not handle it once Z-Hyper Beam followed by a regular Hyper Beam nuked my key players in Kartana and Garchomp, hence taking a second loss going into Round 8.

Interestingly, Smeargle’s fourth move was never revealed in the entire set and she told me in the end she did not have Wide Guard. I was fearing it as my best strategy was to overwhelm her with strong spread moves, and Wide Guard would shut that down. This information was pivotal in our set on Day 2, where we were both fated to meet again in the last round of Swiss.

Round 8: Jordan Bradley (AUS) (Win 2-0)

This was almost an exact mirror except that his Drifblim was using Misty Seed instead of Psychic Seed. A crucial flinch in Game 1 cost him the game as his Garchomp could not do anything to KO my Tapu Lele. It was a crucial piece of fortune that swung the game in my favour.  While the notes I took for this game was sparse, I readjusted in Game 2 to prevent his Tailwind from going up and took the game from there. Apologies once again for not being able to remember too much from this game.

Round 9: Tommy Cooleen (USA) (Lose 2-0)

Going into this round, a 6-3 finish would guarantee at least 80 CPs and I was satisfied with the result given the level of opposition I’d faced throughout the entire day. I was matched up with Tommy Cooleen from the US, another strong player who already had 804 CPs in the bag. I was again slightly intimidated, but knowing that at the very least I would be going home with CPs, I was ready to take on the challenge.

He was running a team of Double Duckies with Buzzwole as the one stand-out member of his team. I deployed my Drifblim and Tapu Lele combination hoping that he would lead with Rain and allow me to punish him using Sunny Day, but he made what seemed like an odd choice of leading Porygon2 and Tapu Koko. Soon I realised that he knew what his win condition was (Trick Room), and retrospectively I should have played in such a way as to deny his Trick Room from going up. His Buzzwole took out my Garchomp with an Ice Punch and I could not recover from there.

Expecting a change up in leads for him, I again stuck to the Drifblim and Tapu Lele lead but it did not pay off. This time, he deployed Rain against me and his Tapu Koko was firing 100% accurate Thunders at my Pokemon. The damage output was quite significant, which led me to assume that it was Modest instead of Timid. I couldn’t knock out any of his Pokemon and I had to concede defeat in Game 2.

Final Record for Day 1: 6-3

After a gruelling 9 rounds of Swiss, we all waited around to see the end results and our placing. To my surprise, I finished 31st, right above Koutaro “maikeru” Nakagome, and managed to squeeze into the top 32 players that would proceed to Day 2 of Swiss. I can still recall Soon, our local Tournament Organiser (TO), running towards me saying, “Your name is bold, congratulations!!!” I was really quite caught off guard by this piece of good news, and was consequently flooded with messages of well wishes on site and online.

I couldn’t believe it that I’d managed to make it with my 6-3 record (likely owing to the strong resistance of Baris, Labhaoisa and Tommy). It was indeed a personal milestone for me. Along with Melvin Keh, Matthew Hui and Nelson Lim, the 4 of us had made it for Singapore. It was quite an emotionally charged evening for me, owing to the fact that there were many Singaporeans who also fought hard to fly our flags high in Day 2 of Swiss. From here on there were no expectations, and I really wanted to enjoy all my games in Day 2 regardless of my progress.

Day 2 of Oceania IC

Round 10: William Tansley (UK) (Lose 2-0)

Pairing up with one of the top UK players, this exemplified the standard of Day 2 for an international tournament such as this, and I expected no less from William. He deployed Trick Room for Game 1 and unfortunately overwhelmed me with Gigalith. His surprise nuke of Gigavolt Havoc on Tapu Koko also eliminated Drifblim on turn 1. I could not recover from there once Trick Room was set up despite me trying very hard to pivot around.

In Game 2, I managed to nuke the Porygon2 on Turn 1, but he managed to turn things around by deploying Celesteela against me, knowing that if he eliminated my Arcanine, his Celesteela could Leech Seed at will and stall his way to victory. He did just that, taking out my Arcanine, and the game came down to a 2v1 with both of my Pokemon Leech Seeded and with no super effective moves to deal significant damage to Celesteela, losing me the set. It showed the difference in skill and experience between us, with him knowing how to readjust even after his first win condition was eliminated.

Round 11: Alister Sandover (AUS) (Win 2-1)

The composition of this team was really unique in my opinion, containing my most hated Ultra Beast Nihilego (Yes I’m looking at you Bryan haha). The clutch Z-Superpower from Buzzwole really caught me off guard as well, OHKOing my Arcanine which gained him a significant foothold thereafter. He managed his Gigalith very well, also using it to support his team via Wide Guard, and my Kartana couldn’t do much in response.

I readjusted in Game 2 and made use of a late Tailwind to overwhelm him. He also had his own Drifblim, using Electric Seed instead, but early knockouts and a crucial Flinch on Buzzwole allowed me to regain momentum thereafter. Game 3 I stopped his speed control in its tracks and was able to eliminate 3 Pokemon in 2 turns, downing Tapu Koko and Drifblim with some aggressive and risky plays on my end.

Round 12: Tomoyuki Yoshimura (JPN) (Lose 2-0)

I only got one piece of information about this opponent’s team from Mr. Worldwide before we started, that “Snorlax has Curse”, which unfortunately did not play any role in determining the outcome of our set since he did not bring it at all. 😛

He overwhelmed me with a crucial late Tailwind after I had ignored his Mandibuzz for too long, and the chip damage from Foul Play was too much for my physical attackers to handle. The second game he made use of Kartana very well, only using one move throughout which led me to conclude that it was Choice Scarfed. Even taking down Mandibuzz early in the game did not help as by then, the damage was done, as I had taken the risk of not setting Tailwind and instead tried to dish out Burns via Will-o-Wisp (which missed by the way, that 85%). Allowing Kartana to gain significant boosts also led to my downfall as well.

Round 13: Luke Iuele (AUS) (Lose 2-1)

His team had dual weather setters and he deployed both in Game 1, using Ninetales’ Blizzard to chip at my Pokemon. Gigalith revealing Rockium Z led me to think that the rest of his team was unlikely to carry another Z-Crystal, but I was wrong. Kartana revealed Fightinium Z in Game 2, and just as I thought that I could Earthquake my way to a win, Gigalith revealed Wide Guard. It was my fault for forgetting about that possible support move, which cost me Game 2. Similarly in Game 3 I got out-predicted on some key turns, and my speed control options were quickly eliminated. With Aurora Veil up and an early loss of Drifblim, I couldn’t recover and dropped this set.

Round 14: Labhaoisa Cromie (UK) (Win 2-0)

Fate dictated that I had to face her once again, for the very last round in Day 2 to round off my run in Melbourne. This time, armed with information and a piece of advice from Matthew, “just overwhelm with spread and you’ll be fine”, I did exactly that. I led both Garchomp and Tapu Lele in both games and quickly overran Labhaoisa’s team with spread moves that took out the Porygon Z before it could set up (even using Earthquake on my own Tapu Lele in Game 2).  It was a clean win from there even with Pheromosa coming in to apply pressure, as the numbers advantage was in my favour.

Final Record for Day 2: 8-6

Af the conclusion of the 5 rounds, I finished 2-3 at a final position of 29th across 276 Masters division players and didn’t proceed to Top Cut on Day 3. I was satisfied with the result as I felt the level of my opposition was really strong, and I had played to my best. I enjoyed all my sets regardless of the results. In fact, picking up 120 CPs was more than what I could have hoped for in the face of very tough opponents. As one of the 4 Singaporeans in Day 2,  I was happy that we made it onto a list surrounded by top players from all over the world in this tournament.

From here on, it was time to take a break from Pokemon and tour around Melbourne before we headed back! Here are some of the highlights (Brighton Beach and Luna Park!)

Closing thoughts and reflections

It was indeed a very fruitful experience personally, being able to travel to Melbourne and represent The Mirage Island as a community to fly our Singaporean flag in the competitive arena of VGC. I’ve grown as a player, and could see the differences in skill level when pitting myself against the world’s best. Most importantly, the new friendships forged with the foreign players exemplifies the main purpose of Pokemon, having fun together regardless of winning or losing. With this finish, I’m satisfied with what I’ve achieved for the 2017 season thus far, regardless of if I make it to Anaheim this year or not. I did enjoy myself thoroughly in the mini-Worlds setting of Melbourne, and I quote Zong Ying our TO, if we cannot make it for Anaheim, this experience at Melbourne would be just as good. The end goal of 400 CPs is near enough, but still there is work to be done.

I’ve reflected whenever I did not do as well as intended in major events, and always came to the conclusion that I must not lose sight of the main purpose of Pokemon. Regardless of the result, we must be able to recover from any setback and come back stronger. In the midst of the competitive setting of VGC, we are still one community, and one Mirage Island. It is something I will hold dear in my heart even beyond the conclusion of the 2017 season. I will continue to fight for the qualification till the very end, as this is my last year competing full-time in VGC. Life beckons and I would like to set aside time for other priorities in life and my career. (I would still stick around for sure, and if I have the opportunity, to commentate in events!)

The road to Worlds is an arduous one, but I would like to continue walking it with the community,  as one TMI. We will believe and we can make it. With this, I sign off, keep believing and #PlayPokemon. Thank you for taking the time to read my report and feel free to follow me at @mewmartVGC on Twitter. I would love to see how this team can be further optimised and do give it a try if you wish! Let me know what else can be improved 🙂 and this is mewmart signing off!

Here’s a collage of all the memories that I wish to preserve for my friends in the Pokemon VGC community, and once again, thank you everyone.

Shout-Outs

  • Melvin Keh for the gel in the crucial Round 9 despite the loss, and the “heng ahhhh” after I made it to Day 2
  • Ronald Seet for the crucial 2 Pokemon that rounded off my team
  • Wei Wen, Xi Wen and Wei Wen’s mum Susan for being my room mates (I hope you all enjoyed the apartment, for those interested please let me know!!)
  • Ismat Myron Beg and Kevin Ngim, for the pep talks in between rounds, and the stuff outside Pokemon
  • Joel Lee (MY), Leon Ang (SG) , Reuven Tan (SG) and Wilson Foong (SG), for the team optimising and building up till the very day I flew (yes I’m very brave Bryan Wong)
  • Ryan Loh, Su Gi Chandran, Bryan Wong, Wei Wen and Xi Wen for taking time to travel together on Day 3 to Brighton Beach and Luna Park
  • Yoko Taguma for the Lapras good luck (I’m sorry if I stole the luck for the MSS)
  • Cheeryl Tan and Nathaniel for the good luck charms (I haxed Yuya after touching Audino’s head)
  • Thanks to Miao Xian and my mum for being supportive of my hobby and having to sacrifice date time for my hobby. I really appreciate it!
  • Quous Tee for asking about my performance and concerns. Thank you very much 🙂
  • Matthew for inviting me to pen my thoughts and reflections for The Mirage Island, thank you!
  • lightdragon87 from deviantart for the article art

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