Moon Rising at the National Championships!
05 July, 2013 in Play! Pokémon
In her first Nationals, Masters Division player Nicholina Moon is eclipsing the competition.
This may be Nicholina Moon's first National Championships, but she talks with the mind of a seasoned veteran. And with a record of 4-0 in early play in the Masters Division, she's proving she can walk the walk, too.
Pokemon.com: How long have you been playing Pokémon TCG?
Nicholina: Only for about a year.
Pokemon.com: That's not common for a new player at the Masters Division level. What got you into playing?
Nicholina: I played when I was younger, but not competitively, just with my sister. I've always liked playing Pokémon, including playing a lot of the video games. Just one day my boyfriend and I decided to get back in the game again.
Pokemon.com: Did you just stumble across your old cards and start building decks again?
Nicholina: Yeah, and we went to the store and picked up some recent theme decks from like Next Destinies or so. We played a few rounds and got hooked.
Pokemon.com: Is playing against your boyfriend how you do most of your training?
Nicholina: Well, unfortunately there hasn't been a League in our area. One is just about to start up. But we play against each other, and a lot of Pokémon TCG Online, especially against friends who live in other states. That's a great way to get testing done, though.
Pokemon.com: You said you played a lot of the video games, but you choose to play Pokémon TCG competitively instead. How come?
Nicholina: Actually the first event I went to was a Pokémon Video Game Regional Championships. But I think that card games are more my style.
Pokemon.com: This is your first time at Nationals then? How have you enjoyed it?
Nicholina: It's really great. It's awesome to see everyone I've met. And it's cool to see how everyone I know is doing. An awesome thing is seeing people on social media like Instagram and Twitter, then getting to meet them in real life here.
Pokemon.com: How does the competition at Nationals compare against other tournaments you've played so far?
Nicholina: I play in Ohio, and I think Ohio has a reputation for being really hard. I'm used to playing against people who I consider to be really good players. This is definitely a whole other level, though. This is definitely the largest tournament I've played in, but the Ohio tournaments tend to be pretty big, too. But this is pretty crazy.
Pokemon.com: You're one of the few female competitors at 4-0. Do you get a lot of attention from other female players when they see you at the top tables?
Nicholina: Well, I notice it myself when I get paired up against a girl. I really enjoy seeing girls here. And even in the time I've been playing I feel like I've seen more girls playing recently.
Pokemon.com: How do you determine which deck you want to play at events?
Nicholina: My style this year was to change the deck based on what the tournament atmosphere is going to be. I try to be versatile in my deck choice. But I think that predicting the meta game is a difficult skill, and one I'm still trying to master.
Pokemon.com: So we take it you're comfortable with the choice you made for Nationals?
Nicholina: I've been lucky with my match-ups. I've been fortunate today so far. But I've also worked on my list. I've played two Team Plasma decks, and no Darkrai decks. I'm worried about playing Klinklang and Garbodor decks. Luckily I haven't run into a lot of those.
Pokemon.com: You're off to a great start at 4-0. At this point what are your goals?
Nicholina: I just really want to make top cut. Performing well at a large event like this is a big deal, and top cut would be a really great accomplishment.
Pokemon.com: What else do you plan to do while you're out here in Indianapolis beyond playing the tournament?
Nicholina: I look forward to catching up with some friends I haven't seen in a while, and I'd like to play in some side tournaments. But hopefully I get to keep playing in the main event!