We Wanna Be The Very Best Like No One Ever Was

We Wanna Be The Very Best Like No One Ever Was

We Wanna Be The Very Best Like No One Ever Was

We’re in the final stretch of the 2017-18 season with the World Championships just over the horizon. For most of us, this is the time to put our feet up, pat our backs on a decent season, and to watch what unfolds as the best in the world battle to claim the title of World Champion.

There are plenty of Australians vying for this prestigious title. This article looks at the road undertaken by the top 5 Aussie players this season (by Championship Points).

Jordan Palmer

Having tied for 4th place on the Australian leaderboard with 708 Championship Points, Jordan’s performance this season has earned him a travel award to the World Championships held in Nashville. His stellar résumé this season includes a Top 64 finish at London Internationals, Top 16 at Brisbane Regionals, 2nd place at Melbourne Regionals, and a top 8 at Auckland Special Event.

At the beginning of the season, Jordan played a lot of Gardevoir GX / Sylveon GX, citing the consistency of the deck as the key to his early success, including his top 64 finish at London Internationals. Following this, he dipped his feet into the world of Zoroark, playing variants that included Golisopod GX, Zoroark Break & Hoopa, and even Crabomiable. However the variant that earned Jordan the most points was Zoroark GX/Decidueye GX with a Top 16 finish at Brisbane Regionals. Decidueye proved to be particularly memorable for Jordan having helped him claim two first place Regionals finishes and a second place finish in the 2016/17 season.

Towards the end of the season, Jordan primarily piloted multiple versions of Buzzwole/Lycanroc earning top placings at multiple League Cups, and then placing 2nd at Melbourne Regionals with a list including Beast Ring once Forbidden Light became legal. Buzzwole variants continued to earn him big points; his top 8 finish at the Auckland Special Event was with a baby Buzzwole focused deck. Overall, Jordan earned the majority of his colossal 708 points this season with Buzzwole GX /Lycanroc GX variants.

Looking back at this season, Jordan believed that this was a good season for him, albeit not as strong as previous seasons. He was proud to reach his goal of earning a day 2 invite to the World Championships. He has a track record of showing up at the big stage with two Top 32 finishes at the past four World Championships and his goal is to better that record with a Top 16 or Top 8 finish this time around.

One moment that stood out for Jordan was his Top 4 match at Melbourne Regionals against Corey Matthews. Tied at 1-1, Jordan’s Buzzwole GX /Lycanroc GX was up against Corey’s Necrozma GX/Malamar build in a tense game 3 match. Going into game 3, Jordan was conscious of not benching a Buzzwole GX in order to not give up easy prizes to his opponent due to its Psychic weakness, but upon his first deck search, he realised that his one-of copies of baby Buzzwole and Octillery were prized; as were both his copies of Lycanroc GX. Nevertheless, he was determined not to bench Buzzwole GX and hence decided to prioritize attacking with TapuLele GX’s Energy Drive attack. Fortunately for him, Corey was having a slow start too but was able to deploy a Black Ray GX to KO both of Jordan’s TapuLele GXs in a single turn. However by this point, TapuLele had done its job having earned Jordan 2 prizes, enabling him to find one of his Lycanroc GX from his prize cards. With a combination of Bloodthirsty Eyes, Dangerous Rogue, Claw Slash, and the ever threatening N to 2, Jordan was able to pull off the comeback of the year and proceed to the final.

Great stuff Jordan, we wish you the best at the World Championship!


Sameer Sangwan

Tied for 4th place with Jordan Palmer, Ace Trainer’s own Sameer also finished the season with an impressive 708 Championship Points. His tally of accomplishments include Top 16 at Melbourne Regionals, Top 64 at Oceania Internationals, and a 1st place finish at the Auckland Special Event.

Sameer’s season began at the Brisbane Regionals where he piloted Buzzwole GX / Lycanroc GX to a Top 8 finish. The list that he piloted was unique and innovative; he played 2 copies of Regirock EX, a Zygarde EX and a Sudowoodo, all of which assisted in cementing the Zoroark matchup. Despite success with Buzzwole, Sameer chose to pilot Gardevoir GX / Sylveon GX at the Oceania Internationals, where he finished in 63rd place. Sameer continued to compete at big events, notably Latin America Internationals, but unfortunately failed to come away with points. However he was able to redeem himself with a 1st place finish at the Auckland Special Event piloting a unique Zygarde GX/ Lycanroc GX build.

Looking back at his season, Sameer admints that his season has been decent, albeit underwhelming and his big finish at the Auckland Special Event played a huge part in bringing him up the leaderboard. He regrets missing points at big events that would’ve put him in contention for Top 4 for Asia Pacific. Nevertheless, his goal for the World Championships is to make Top 32 and to improve on his performance from last year.

A very memorable and personal moment for Sameer was at the Oceania International Champinships this year. Going in to the last round, he faced the daunting prospect missing Top 64 if he failed to win his final match. To his shock, he found that his opponent would be none other than his own brother, Robin Sangwan, who also found himself in this unfortunate “win-and-in” position. The stakes were high since Championship Points and Cash Awards were on the line as the brothers set up and to play a 58-card Gardevoir GX mirror. In an intense game 3, Sameer managed to take the win and share a touching moment with his brother.

The Ace Trainer team wishes you well on your Worlds endeavour Sameer!

Tait Tran

Despite his colossal 792 Championship Points, Tait’s season has been a topsy-turvy one by his own admission. His notable finishes this season include a very impressive Top 16 at Oceania Internationals and 2nd place at Perth Regionals. Tait piloted Zoroark GX/ Lycanroc GX at both of these events which proved to be a masterstroke. Off to a modest start in the first quarter where he most piloted Drampa GX/ Garbodor, Tait picked up momentum in the second and third quarters of the season, earning well over 400 points in this time alone, predominantly with Zoroark GX / Lycanroc GX. However he regrets his final quarter where despite attending three major events, he failed to walk away with any Championship Points. Putting aside the recent setbacks, Tait is determined to finish in Top 32 at the World Championships, and ideally Top 8 to add to his stellar résumé this year.

Looking back on the season so far, by far the most memorable moment for Tait was upon the conclusion of the Oceania International Championships. Seeing his name up in the Top 16 bracket against some of the best players in the world was a truly proud moment that he was able to share with his friends and will long live as one of his fondest Pokemon memories.

All the best with the final stretch of the season, Tait!

Angus Johnson

Angus Johnson has had an incredible run this season, finishing up at 822 Championship Points. With an impressive best finish list that includes 2nd place at Auckland Special Event, Top 4 at Perth Regionals, Top 64 at Oceania Internationals and Top 128 and North American Internationals, Angus has enjoyed quite some success over the season that sees him finish runner up on the Australian leaderboard.

As did some of the other top players on this list, Angus’s season began by piloting Gardevoir GX decks at tournaments. However following Zoroark’s success at the European Internationals in London, Angus chose to pick up and pilot Zoroark variants for the upcoming season, citing the deck’s flexibility and consistency.  Indeed he chose to pilot Zoroark GX / Golisopod GX at the Oceania Internationals to a commendable 64th place. Inspired by his success, he continued to pilot the deck at Perth Regionals to a Top 4 finish. Between Perth Regionals in March and the Auckland Special Event in June, Angus played a variety of decks including other variants of Zoroark, Buzzwole GX/ Lycanroc GX, culminating in a 2nd place finish at the Auckland Special Event with Zoroark GX / Lucario GX.

A memorable moment for Angus this season was a particularly successful double Cup weekend where he finished in 1st and 2nd place. Angus’s goal for the World Champinships is a Top 128 finish, which given his record so far this season, I’m sure he’ll be able to accomplish with ease. We wish you well Angus!

Brent Tonisson

Ace Trainer’s very own Brent Tonisson needs no further introduction; over the last few seasons he has undeniably proved his calibre as one of the best players in Australia and the world. What is particularly impressive about Brent’s season to date was despite his limited playing time (due to school); he was able to come away with points at all Regionals or larger events that he attended.

Like Jordan and Angus, Brent’s season started by piloting Gardevoir GX / Sylveon GX, earning him 192 out of his remarkable 908 Championship Points. This was the deck that he chose to pilot at London Internationals, earning him a Top 32 finish in 21st place.

However following Zoroark GX’s success at London Internationals, Brent switched focus to Zoroark variants, having piloted all popular variants of Zoroark over the season. He chose to pilot Zoroark GX/Golisopod GX at Brisbane Regionals to a fifth place finish. Interestingly, Brent chose to include one copy of Zoroark BKT to give him an unexpected OHKO option against unsuspecting opponents.

Zoraork GX/Lycanroc GX was the clear deck of choice for Brent for the Sydney Internationals in February this year. With a comfortable Top 32 finish and a travel award to Latin American Internationals, Brent was clearly overjoyed with his Zoroark driven success.

However, the best was yet to come for Brent, his Top 8 finish at Sao Paulo Internationals was a career best and sealed his spot as the number 1 player in Australia for the season. He piloted Zoroark GX/ Golisopod GX again, this time including copies of Mew EX and Oranguru UPM to shore up the Buzzwole matchup.

Looking back at his season, Brent is proud of his consistent achievements despite only being able to attend four large premiere events this season. His focus is on bettering his Top 32 finish at last year’s World Championships with a Top 16 or above finish.

A memorable moment that stood out for him was at Oceania Internationals, where he stood with a 5-1-3 record after swiss. He was nervous as the final standings were announced but was relieved to find that he had managed to bubble in at 32nd place. He adds that ties are worth more than losses when calculating resistance and therefore he gave himself a chance to bubble in despite stiff competition during the last few swiss rounds.

All the best from the Ace Trainer team, Brent!


I would be amiss to write an article about the top performing Australian players without mentioning Ace Trainer’s very own fearless leader, Bodhi Cutler, whose impressive season saw him finish with 495 Championship Points and in 6th place on the Australian leaderboard. Godspeed Bodhi!


-Vighnesh Murthy


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