See also EX: Sandstorm Card Scans
The promo poster in the window featured Pokémon from the brand-new expansion set. Can you name 'em all?
To kill time before the tournament starts, Mike and Chad go through a few rounds of GBA Ruby and Sapphire.
The Salt Lake City Sandstorm Prerelease Tournament was held at Crossroads Mall, on Saturday, September 6, 2003. I don't normally go to these things, but I can't recall the last time a big tourny like this came to the city where I was actually living, so I decided to go for it, taking my little sister along with me.
On a Personal Note:
I pleaded for Mom do drop me off (she needed the car today and I didn't want to have to deal with parking) at 9:45, to give us ample time to find the place, as I had only been to Crossroads Mall once (and then only for Toshiko's up a few floors...I suppose I need to get out more often....) Anyway, my sister and I missed the designated place entirely, but luckily managed to find some TCG players in the food court area, practicing their unlimited decks, whom we were able to ask for directions.... (Apparently, the room wasn't set up yet...no wonder we couldn't find it!)
Olivia Jenkins (8), begins to tally up her card yield from the 6 boosters she got. Way to tally, sis!
The doors opened at 10:00 and began the registration process. (My sister and I were numbers 5 and 6 of the more than fifty that yet had to arrive.) At the cost of $15, participants received a Prerelease-stamped Armaldo card and 6 Sandstorm (woo-hoo!) boosters from which to make a 40-card deck. (The prerelease card was not allowed in the deck, much to the dismay of many.)
The first thing we did after opening our boosters was to sleeve our cards. (We dislike playing without sleeves, especially when there are holos involved.) My sister was very lucky and got good numbers for some decent evolutionary chains, as well as a Dusclops! She also scored an Aerodactyl ex, but, alas, no Mysterious Fossil. (She had tons of the other fossils, though.) I got Arbok, Arcanine, and a moderately strong bunch of Psychics, but all in all, a pretty limited bunch...a rather bad draw, if I dare say, and no Lanette's Net Search. (I did get a Wally's Training and a Double Full Heal, but I would've prefered to have a Net Search as well.)
Lists were provided to tally up all cards that were received in the 6 boosters and to indicate how many of each were included in the deck each player would make. (Just tallying and sorting took up a good long time.)
After tallying comes deckbuilding--a challenging process, since no one has seen these cards before.
The intense process of card selection....
Spencer (14) and James (12) try out their new 40-card decks before the tournament begins.
Practicing with their new cards.
Because my sister had no experience in draft, I helped her build her deck, which, given the circumstances, wasn't too shabby:
I, like my sister, had to make a 3-color deck because no two of the colors had enough depth to stand on their own. (I really don't like to go above 3 colors, but my options were limited.) Arcanine was too powerful for me to pass up, partially because of how common Grass would be in people's decks, despite the fact that I didn't have any other Fire cards to act as backup. Espeon struck me as a good card if I could get it up and running, as did Wobbuffet, while Xatu presented many interesting gaming opportunities. The result went something like this:
Anyway, after you tallied up which cards you planned to have in your deck, it was off to the front table to fetch Energy cards.
Then everyone waited until more people showed and others finished their decks. [At this point I took most of the photos you see on this page.]
Hmm, what's this? Rob Larrabee wants to sell a whole carton of over 500 cards for $5? Just before he was about to sell, I made an offer for $10 and bought the entire thing. Whoo-hoo!
The computer spat out player matchups according to age group: 10 and under, 11-14, and 15 and up.
Prokémon Professor Tymon Martindae, or Gym Leader Blaine, explains some of the new R/S rule changes before the first round.
Leah Gallina (18) poses with her pride and joy--the stunning Aerodactyl ex.
The professors (smartly) brought a computer laptop and printer with them to do all of the match setups with special software designed for swiss tournaments. Before each match was to begin, a printout was taped to the wall that announced everyone's opponents and which table the matches would take place. (At the end of each match, the computer tabulated your win-loss ratio and the win-loss ratio of your opponents to calculate your overall rank. What cool software!)
MATCH 1 - 11:30
LUNCH - 12:00
MATCH 2 - 12:30
MATCH 3 - 1:00
MATCH 4 - 1:30
MATCH 5 - 2:00
Everyone gathered 'round as the Professors announced the winners. And--amazingly--my sister placed second in the ten and under category! Congratulations, Livie! (The first time she battled people besides me and my next door neighbor and her first tourny ever!) The both of us went aside to open her 18 new boosters. (After some convincing, she gave me 7 boosters for paying for her entrance fee and doing the majority of her deckbuilding, as long as she got the common and uncommon reverse-holos.)
Was it worth it? I'd say so, even though I lost horribly. Between my sister's winnings, our original 6 booster draws, and the over 500 new cards from Rob's collection, I was able to scan a total of 251 new cards, over 120 from Sandstorm, making Sandstorm my most complete set besides Base Set in terms of percentage of total cards scanned. I did learn something about deckbuilding...something, I'm not sure what exactly, pehaps this: don't judge EX cards based on the standards of Base through Rocket, which I think I did.
Until next time I get some money and am able to leave the house...!
...to Rob Larrabee, "The Ultimate Dragon," for selling about 1,000 cards for eighty-four hundredths of a cent each.