Preview: 2017 Pokémon World Championships Finals
TCG and VGC finals feature in the final day – and for the first time, two Australians makes the VGC finals including Masters level!
We’re into the final day of the 2017 edition of the Pokémon World Championships. Pokkén Tournament has already finished up, but the Trading Card Game (TCG) and Video Game Championships (VGC) remain unfinished. We preview the upcoming match-ups.
The remaining events are as follows:
Junior Division Final: Tobias Strømdahl (NO) vs. Minaki Hasegawa (JP)
Gardevoir-GX features in the decks for both players – but who can bring it out first to wreck havoc? It’s the best card in the recent Burning Shadows set and has proven its worth in being incorporated so quickly into winning decks, even at the Worlds stage. Whichever player can bring it out quicker and start inflicting Infinite Force attacks, alongside using Twilight GX, will go a long way to winning.
Senior Division Final: Zachary Bokhari (US) vs. Michael Long (CA)
Both sides have Water-type decks; who will ride the surf best? Zachary can use Alolan Ninetales-GX for massive damage, while Michael’s Greninja BREAK combines well with Frogadier’s Water Duplicates to lead to mass evolution and hence quick and massive damage. Both do their jobs well, and the match-up may well come down to how effectively techs are employed. Jirachi within Michael’s set will remove the Double Colourless Energy that Zachary’s Ninetales needs to function, and Giratina blocks Greninja’s Giant Water Shuriken attacks.
Masters Division Final: Diego Cassiraga (AR) vs. Nanto Suzuki (JP)
Gardevoir-GX features again in Diego’s deck, making it the card of choice in half of the decks featuring in Worlds finals. Nanto makes use of Golisopod-GX alongside the popular Garbodor card. Golisopod-GX is good for dealing quick early damage, with Garbador used to clean up in the middle-to-late game. Nanto focuses more on the Golisopod and Garbador line in his deck, while Diego includes six other Pokémon species to the Gardevoir line.
Junior Division Final: Nicholas Kan (AU) vs. Tomás Serrano (ES)
Nicholas‘s Team: Porygon2, Tapu Koko, Arcanine, Gyarados, Garchomp, Snorlax
Tomás’s Team: Hariyama, Oranguru, Torkoal, Lucario, Gigalith, Celesteela
Tomás appears to rely on pure power for his team, with three Choice item users for smashing through walls, Oranguru providing crucial Instruct assistance, and Hariyama with great Fake Out support. Nicholas’ Arcanine and Gyarados may be key in providing Intimidate support to negate the physical attackers (including Lucario) and slow the tempo down, which will suit Nicholas.
Only a single Tapu is within the finals (and it’ll have to contend with Lucario and Celesteela), but sans Gigalith and Snorlax all other Pokémon are regulars of the VGC scene this season. Nicholas’ Snorlax may be forced to a smaller role, but both Gyarados and Garchomp offers great match-ups with most of Tomás’ team. Expect both to feature.
Senior Division Final: Hong Juyoung (KR) vs. Yuki Wata (JP)
Hong’s Team: Porygon2, Tapu Koko, Arcanine, Kartana, Araquanid, Mudsdale
Yuki’s Team: Tapu Koko, Tapu Fini, Arcanine, Gigalith, Kartana, Porygon2
Both teams feature Porygon2 and both carry Trick Room, but Hong has the slower team which hence appreciates the move being set up. Mind games may come into play over this single move. As both sides have Tapu Koko, Arcanine and Kartana, it may also come down to the remaining three individuals to shape the outcome of this final.
Araquanid will be a heavy hitter for Hong with Liquidation and Waterium Z, and Mudsdale will be a massive physical wall to overcome and the surprise move of Toxic. Yuki’s team offers two Pokémon with boosting moves (Tapu Fini with Calm Mind and Gigalith with Curse), and hence affords Yuki the ability to set up alongside Trick Room, or to survive longer in waiting out the twisted dimensions if required.
Masters Division Final: Ryota Otsubo (JP) vs Sam Pandelis (AU)
Ryota’s Team: Krookodile, Whimsicott, Tapu Fini, Marowak, Celesteela, Tapu Koko
Sam’s Team: Ninetales, Arcanine, Garchomp, Mandibuzz, Tapu Lele, Xurkitree
Ryota made an amazing comeback in his semi-final against fellow countryman Tomoyuki, taking out two Pokémon – courtesy of a crucial Critical hit – in the final turn to finish with more remaining Pokémon. Tomoyuki had the match in the bag but opted to not use Protect on either of his Pokémon. The first battle of that semi-final had come from a massive stall war that lasted over 40 minutes, where his Celesteela proved to be the crucial difference. Krookodile has proven useful with its Ground-type Z-Move to break walls as well. His Tapu Fini wields Choice Specs and may help bring needed power to overwhelm Sam’s team if played well.
Sam’s clutch Pokémon appears to be his Xurkitree, which has Tail Glow to punish any chance it gets to stay in. His Garchomp and Tapu Lele also have set-up moves in Swords Dance and Calm Mind, while his other Pokémon play a support role. Mandibuzz, for example, is a more unusual choice which has provided his team with important Tailwinds to gain the speed advantage and made the difference in his quarter-final win. Its Taunts may aid in shutting down Ryota’s Whimsicott and Celesteela, the latter which is threatened primarily by Arcanine but counters Ninetales.
Check out the finals today at 9:00 am local time (PT) below or in our stream article!
Watch live video from Pokemon on www.twitch.tv
TCG notes provided by ddrox13.
Edited by Volpe Artica.