2018 North America International Championships

Winner Stéphane Ivanoff
Dates: July 6-8
Location: Greater Columbus Convention Center, Columbus, Ohio, USA
Attendance: 1534 Masters
Format: Standard BRT-FLI

Day 1 Swiss was divided into two pods: Blue and Orange. After nine rounds of Swiss, the Top 32 from each pod were combined into a Top 64 Day 2, which cut to Top 8 after a further six Swiss rounds.


Day 2 CP share
View raw data

Day 2 placements

Top 64 final standings
  1. Stéphane Ivanoff, Zoroark-GX/Garbodor/Kartana-GX
  2. Tord Reklev, Zoroark-GX Control
  3. Jimmy Pendarvis, Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX
  4. Adam Hawkins, Malamar/Psychic
  5. Ryan Antonucci, Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX
  6. Edward Kuang, Malamar/Ultra Necrozma-GX
  7. Fabien Pujol, Zoroark-GX/Garbodor/Kartana-GX
  8. Aaron Tarbell, Yveltal BREAK/Hoopa SHL/Tapu Koko
  9. Gustavo Wada, Hoopa SHL/Latios/Mewtwo/Kartana-GX
  10. Matthew Padget, Malamar/Psychic
  11. Dustin Zimmerman, Yveltal BREAK/Hoopa SHL/Tapu Koko
  12. Ahmed Ali, Buzzwole/Lycanroc-GX
  13. Chris Venier, Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX
  14. Kyle Lesniewicz, Sylveon-GX
  15. Nikolas Campbell, Buzzwole/Lycanroc-GX
  16. Mark Dizon, Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX
  17. William Azevedo, Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX
  18. Alex Schemanske, Buzzwole/Garbodor
  19. Tran Nguyen, Buzzwole/Garbodor 
  20. Mike Laundrie, Buzzwole/Garbodor
  21. Michael Pramawat, Buzzwole/Lycanroc-GX
  22. Cody Graham, Buzzwole/Garbodor
  23. Philip Schulz, Zoroark-GX Control
  24. Pedro Eugenio Torres, Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX
  25. Dalton Didelot, Malamar/Ultra Necrozma-GX
  26. Daniel Altavilla, Buzzwole/Garbodor
  27. Alex Hill, Buzzwole/Garbodor
  28. Boston Moreland, Hoopa SHL/GX walls
  29. John Kettler, Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX
  30. Nick Capobianco, Malamar/Shining Lugia/Mewtwo-GX
  31. Brian Miller, Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX
  32. Lance Bradshaw, Buzzwole/Lycanroc-GX
  33. Timothy Eberhardt, Golisopod-GX/Garbodor
  34. Clifton Goh, Yveltal BREAK/Tapu Koko
  35. Eli Ottaviano, Magnezone/Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX
  36. Nathan Brower, Malamar/Ultra Necrozma-GX
  37. Ian Robb, Buzzwole/Lycanroc-GX
  38. Ian Buck, Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX
  39. David Suddaby, Buzzwole
  40. Emre Erel, Buzzwole/Lycanroc-GX/Alolan Muk
  41. Wesley Hollenberg, Buzzwole/Garbodor
  42. Samuel Hough, Buzzwole/Garbodor
  43. Igor Costa, Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX
  44. Sean Kavanaugh, Buzzwole/Lycanroc-GX
  45. Ramon Miranda, Malamar/Ultra Necrozma-GX
  46. Riley Hulbert, Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX
  47. Zach Elliott, Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX
  48. Hunter Harless, Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX
  49. Gibson Archer-Tang, Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX
  50. Riley Pazdera, Malamar/Psychic
  51. Samuel Liggett, Volcanion
  52. Bodhi Tracy, Buzzwole/Garbodor
  53. Joshua Bickel, Malamar/Ultra Necrozma-GX
  54. Nolan Wilson, Zoroark-GX/Garbodor
  55. Christian Franco, Buzzwole/Lycanroc-GX
  56. James Arnold, Yveltal BREAK/Tapu Koko
  57. Shane Conley, Buzzwole/Lycanroc-GX
  58. Kyle Louro, Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX
  59. Andrew Scott, Buzzwole/Lycanroc-GX
  60. Jeremy Gibson, Buzzwole/Lycanroc-GX
  61. Jason Schmidt, Lapras-GX
  62. Alejo Antonio Salvador Iturbe, Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX
  63. Dakota Gillanders, Buzzwole/Lycanroc-GX
  64. Ben Potter, Lucario-GX/Lycanroc-GX

Blue Flight Top 32
  1. Adam Hawkins, Malamar/Psychic
  2. Michael Pramawat, Buzzwole/Lycanroc-GX
  3. Ryan Antonucci, Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX
  4. Pedro Eugenio Torres, Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX
  5. Ian Buck, Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX
  6. Samuel Liggett, Volcanion
  7. Ahmed Ali, Buzzwole/Lycanroc-GX
  8. Alex Hill, Buzzwole/Garbodor
  9. Igor Costa, Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX
  10. Tran Nguyen, Buzzwole/Garbodor
  11. Philip Schulz, Zoroark-GX Control
  12. Ramon Miranda, Malamar/Ultra Necrozma-GX
  13. Mike Laundrie, Buzzwole/Garbodor
  14. Daniel Altavilla, Buzzwole/Garbodor
  15. Nikolas Campbell, Buzzwole/Lycanroc-GX
  16. Bodhi Tracy, Buzzwole/Garbodor
  17. James Arnold, Yveltal BREAK/Tapu Koko/Espeon-EX
  18. Edward Kuang, Malamar/Ultra Necrozma-GX
  19. Zach Elliott, Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX
  20. John Kettler, Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX
  21. Jimmy Pendarvis, Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX
  22. Hunter Harless, Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX
  23. Nick Capobianco, Malamar/Psychic/Shining Lugia
  24. Andrew Scott, Buzzwole/Lycanroc-GX
  25. Gustavo Wada, Hoopa SHL/Latios/Mewtwo/Kartana-GX
  26. Wesley Hollenberg, Buzzwole/Garbodor
  27. Benjamin Potter, Lucario-GX/Lycanroc-GX
  28. Emre Erel, Buzzwole/Lycanroc-GX/Alolan Muk
  29. Christoper Venier, Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX
  30. Kyle Louro, Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX
  31. Nathan Brower, Malamar/Ultra Necrozma-GX
  32. Clifton Goh, Yveltal BREAK/Hoopa SHL

Orange Flight Top 32
  1. Fabien Pujol, Zoroark-GX/Garbodor
  2. Lance Bradshaw, Buzzwole/Lycanroc-GX
  3. Riley Pazdera, Malamar/Psychic
  4. Aaron Tarbell, Yveltal BREAK/Hoopa SHL
  5. Cody Graham, Buzzwole/Garbodor
  6. Samuel Hough, Buzzwole/Garbodor
  7. Matthew Padget, Malamar/Psychic
  8. Stéphane Ivanoff, Zoroark-GX/Garbodor
  9. Dustin Zimmerman, Yveltal BREAK/Hoopa SHL
  10. Riley Hulbert, Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX
  11. Jason Schmidt, Lapras-GX
  12. Shane Conley, Buzzwole/Lycanroc-GX
  13. Tord Reklev, Zoroark-GX Control
  14. Ian Robb, Buzzwole/Lycanroc-GX
  15. Dalton Didelot, Malamar/Ultra Necrozma-GX
  16. William Azevedo, Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX
  17. Alejo Antonio Salvador Iturbe, Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX
  18. Jeremy Gibson, Buzzwole/Lycanroc-GX
  19. Dakota Gillanders, Buzzwole/Lycanroc-GX
  20. Boston Moreland, Hoopa/Wishiwashi-GX
  21. Christian Franco, Buzzwole/Lycanroc-GX
  22. Kyle Lesniewicz, Sylveon-GX
  23. Mark Dizon, Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX
  24. Gibson Archer-Tang, Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX
  25. Sean Kavanaugh, Buzzwole/Lycanroc-GX
  26. Joshua Bickel, Malamar/Ultra Necrozma-GX
  27. Brian Miller, Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX
  28. Alex Schemanske, Buzzwole/Garnodor
  29. Nolan Wilson, Zoroark-GX/Garbodor
  30. Eli Ottaviano, Magnezone/Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX
  31. Timothy Eberhardt, Golisopod-GX/Garbodor
  32. David Suddaby, Buzzwole

  • This is the largest Pokémon TCG tournament to date. Its Masters attendance eclipsed the previous record-holder, the 2017 NAIC's 1354. 
  • Only four North Americans (three USA, one Canada) advanced to Top 8. The other four competitors were European; three of them advanced to Top 4.
    • French players Stéphane Ivanoff and Fabien Pujol played a 60-card mirror in Top 8!
  • This was Tord Reklev's fifth career International Top 8. Reklev has won his Top 8 match at all five of those; at this one, he fell just one match short of capturing his fourth career International title.
  • The Round 14 match on stream between Matthew Padget and Dustin Zimmerman featured a serious error that may have cost Zimmerman a spot in Top 8. At this point in game 2 of the match, Zimmerman attempts to attach a DCE to a Mewtwo on his Bench. Padget claimed Zimmerman had already used his turn Energy attachment - and the table judge agreed. Zimmerman had actually not attached, and had he been able to attach the DCE, he could've potentially swung the game back in his favor, won the match, and been in an excellent position to make Top 8. You can read Ben Potter's HeyFonte post calling attention to the issue here, and Padget's explanation post here
  • The Top 8 bubble was extremely close. Two of the three players with 35 Match Points would advance into Top 8; Fabien Pujol's 65.28% resistance put him far ahead of Aaron Tarbell and Gustavo Wada, but the 8th seed was decided by less than half a percentage point of opponents' opponents' win %. Tarbell and Wada both had 55.56% resistance, but Tarbell's opponents' opponents' win % was 55.79% to Wada's 55.32%, making this likely the closest Top 8 bubble of any major tournament in recent history. 
  • Some notable players who needed to earn CP at this event to qualify for the 2018 World Championships: James ArnoldEric Gansman, John KettlerJay Lesage, and Alex Wilson. Arnold, Kettler, and Lesage qualified; Gansman and Wilson fell short. 

Streamed matches
The event was streamed at twitch.tv/pokemon (alongside VGC) and twitch.tv/pokemontcg. Casters were Cora Georgiou, Jeremy Jallen, Josue RojanoKyle Sabelhaus, Kyle Sucevich, and Kenny Wisdom

Full VODs

Round 1 / watch
Round 2 / watch
Round 3 / watch
Round 4 / watch
Round 5 / watch
Round 6 - main stream / watch
Round 6 - TCG stream / watch
Round 7 - main stream / watch
Round 7 - TCG stream / watch
Round 8 / watch
Round 9 - not streamed

Round 10 / watch
Round 11 / watch
Round 12 - main stream / watch
Round 12 - TCG stream / watch
Round 13 / watch
Round 14 / watch
Round 15 / watch
Top 8 Match A / watch
Top 8 Match B / watch
Top 8 Match C / watch
Top 8 Match D / watch
Top 4 Match A / watch
Top 4 Match B / watch
Finals / watch

View all Top 8 decklists on Pokemon.com

Stéphane Ivanoff, 1st - Zoroark-GX/Garbodor
Player notes:
  • "Fabien [Pujol] and I both thought about Xurkitree-GX in the deck, since it would autowin any Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX deck that only played DCE and Strong Energy... But in the end we never got around to actually playtesting it, because it never felt like we needed it." 

Tord Reklev, 2nd - Zoroark-GX Control

Jimmy Pendarvis, 3rd - Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX
Player notes:
  • On the Rainbow Energy: "for Tapu Cure GX and you can copy Dangerous Rogue GX with Mew-EX... I used Tapu Cure twice"
  • "Max Potion is better [than Acerola]. Decks are too fast, Acerola wastes a turn"
  • Three Parallel City was "not at all" excessive. "Parallel is broken."
  • On Delinquent: "I used it a ton"
  • "[Mallow is] too slow; you need to see more cards than that in most matchups. No room in the deck [for it] either."

Ryan Antonucci, 5th - Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX
Player notes:
  • "The list ran extremely well... Due to the high amount of Malamar decks I played against, Parallel could have been better instead of Reverse Valley but I did benefit from the extra 10 damage in quite a few matches."
  • Two Weakness Policy was enough: "I was always able to find them with two Mallow."
  • On the Buzzwole matchup: "With Reverse Valley you can one-shot Buzzwole and make it difficult for them to KO you in return [by using Weakness Policy]. Use Mewtwo if they ever build up a Buzzwole-GX, and try to kill a non-GX and then a GX to avoid Sledgehammer's bonus damage. Using Lycanroc-GX to target Octillery, killing it, and playing N is really good in the late game."

Nikolas Campbell, 15th - Buzzwole/Lycanroc-GX
This is the same list Michael Pramawat played to finish 6th at the 2018 Mexico City Regionals.

Mark Dizon, 16th - Zoroark-GX/Lycanroc-GX

Same 60 used by Alex Schemanske (18th), Cody Graham (22nd), and Alex Hill (27th)
Schemanske's notes:
  • "I wouldn't change anything except cutting the Sycamore for literally any other Supporter, and I would also love to find a slot for a Field Blower, but that would require an important Item to be cut." 
Graham's notes:
  • "I substituted several things in and out during testing and ultimately returned to what happened to be the exact 60 [Christopher Schemanske] played in [2018 Mexico City Regionals]. Hindsight, I wish I played Field Blower or Red Card over the Counter Catcher (I also tested Delinquent and Enhanced Hammer in that spot and both were good as well). 

Tran Nguyen, 19th - Garbodor/Buzzwole
Nguyen needed a Top 32 to clinch his Worlds invite - he got it!
Player notes:
  • "The deck felt really strong vs the current meta. Also, most people don’t know how to play against this variant. "

Michael Pramawat, 21st - Buzzwole/Lycanroc-GX

Dalton Didelot, 25th - Malamar/Ultra Necrozma-GX
Player notes:
  • "The deck is super good in the early and mid game, but can struggle to close out games when I rush to take prizes and get hit by a N with a weak board. Luck on my side this weekend. I had a lot of trouble against ZoroPod because... smart players chased my Malamar down with Counter Catcher."
  • "Altar of the Moone was amazing. [It was] a way to get free Retreat when I needed Choice Band to OHKO Zoroark-GX."

Eli Ottaviano, 35th - Magnezone/Dusk Mane Necrozma-GX
Player notes:
  • "The Celesteela didn't really do anything so I would cut it for a third Dusk Mane, but other than that the deck actually ran very well."

Riley Hulbert, 46th - Zoroark-GX/Golisopod-GX
Player notes:
  • "The deck itself was phenomenal, and I really enjoyed every single card choice. I used all of them very effectively. Almost every loss was due to unfortunate draws one way or the other rather than any bad matchups. If I were to replay the tournament, I would consider replacing the Mallow with an Oranguru UPR. This is especially true now that Tord’s deck is a thing."

Joshua Bickel, 53rd - Malamar/Psychic
Player notes:
  • "Used Sophocles about five or six times and only regretted seeing it in my hand once."
  • "Hoopa was the smartest inclusion I made."
  • "Would probably add a third Choice Band or N."
  • "First thing I'd cut is Mew. Never helped out and was only a liability when on the board."

James Arnold, 56th - Yveltal BREAK/Tapu Koko/Espeon-EX
This finish earned Arnold his 2018 World Championship invite. 
Player notes:
  • "To keep the Buzzwole matchup close, you need [3 Rescue Stretcher] to maintain Mewtwo at all times to prevent them from overextending."
  • Against Buzzwole, "the Prize trade ends up in your favor... Reverse Valley is...huge to one-shot a Buzzwole [with Baleful Night]."

Nathalia Godinho Fernandez, 81st - Hoopa/Latios/Mewtwo/techs
Fernandez worked on this list with Gustavo Wada and Gabriel Pino Semedo. Wada played a list with a few small differences and placed 9th; Semedo finished 322nd. 

More links