Team CGC Trading Cards Made Day Two of the Pokémon European International Championships!

Posted on 4/21/2023

Azul Garcia Griego placed 98th in the tournament, and Grant Manley joins the team.

Team CGC Trading Cards earned another day two placing at a major competition! Facing 1525 Master-level competitors at the Pokémon European International Championships on April 14-16, the team rose to the challenge yet again.

Representing Team CGC Trading Cards, Azul Garcia Griego placed 98th (8/5/2), Caleb Gedemer placed 218th (5/2/2) and Grant Manley placed 462nd (5/4/0). Kidd Starck and Daniel Altavilla were unable to attend the event but will return to competition at the May 5-7 Portland Regionals.

Previously a long-time testing partner, this was Grant Manley’s first competition as an official member of Team CGC Trading Cards. Grant is ranked fourth globally according to Limitless Rankings, with two 2nd place Regionals, a Top 4 placing at both Regional and International competitions and Top 8 at seven Regionals throughout his career.

The European International Championships marked the beginning of the Scarlet and Violet era and big changes to many players’ decks. For this competition the team continued to vary their Lost Zone Box deck by adding several new cards, including the Scarlet and Violet cards: Hawlucha, Nest Ball, Pokégear 3.0 and Beach Court.

When asked for comment, Caleb Gedemer had this to say about their strategy in Europe: “Going into the weekend, the team had dozens of reps with Lugia VSTAR and Lost Box, choosing to ignore Gardevoir ex testing after it failed to come up with a consistent answer to Lost Box. Things were trending heavily towards Lugia until the later part of the Thursday before the event when the team homed in on a Radiant Charizard-playing variant of Lost Box, which included a controlling strategy to defeat key matchups and secure wins that may have otherwise been lost.

“Mawile from Lost Origin unlocked some awesome outs for this deck. Not only could it instantly beat a list without a way to switch their Active Pokémon, but it could also set up huge Knock Outs with Charizard on the following turn, boosting its damage output to a whopping 340. Tempting Trap was also the ideal answer to Klefki, believe it or not, allowing a player to cycle between Tempting Trap and Sableye’s Scratch to take K.O.s.

“The team discounted the importance of Mew VMAX, choosing not to play a Drapion V. Without Drapion, the matchup became more difficult, especially combined with some Mew decks running a copy of Penny to rescue their Genesect Vs from K.O.s. The Lost Box mirror matchup also proved somewhat difficult, with opposing lists choosing to stick with Radiant Greninja as their Radiant Pokémon of choice, making it easier for them to chain Colress’s Experiment and hit a quick Lost Mine.”

Team CGC Trading Cards was assembled by Danny Oesterreich in 2022, and is comprised of seasoned players Daniel Altavilla, Azul Garcia Griego, Caleb Gedemer, Kidd Starck and Grant Manley. The team will compete next at the Portland Regional Championships, at the Oregon Convention Center, in Portland, Oregon on May 5-7.

Please join us in wishing the team the best of luck throughout the season and keep an eye out for new updates on the team’s performance by following CGC Trading Cards social channels, @CGCcards. You can also watch the events live on the Pokémon YouTube and Twitch channels to see players do battle.

To learn more about Team CGC Trading Cards, click here.

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