Hello everyone, Kenny Wisdom here. I’m excited to be back providing regular Underground content for the first time in two years! I’ve published dozens of articles over the years, so I’ll skip the introductions and just refer you back to them if you’re not sure who I am or what I’m about.
Today I want to talk to you about the upcoming Vancouver Regional Championship. Between commentating and other life commitments that require me to travel more than the average person, I don’t get the opportunity to actually battle in many high level tournaments. So whenever one comes around that is local and fits my schedule, I always try to prepare for it the best I can. The last such tournament was Seattle Regionals earlier this year, which I managed to Top 8 on the back of an incredibly broken deck. I’m not as prepared for this event, and my deck is certainly not as overpowered, but I have high hopes nonetheless.
Because I knew pretty far in advance that I’d be able to play in Vancouver, I’ve been preparing as often as I can (which is not as much as I would like, as moving and real-life have butted their ugly heads). Between arguably unhealthy amounts of PTCGO and playing in a handful of League Cups, I think I have a pretty good grasp on the format.
As a quick aside, I want to mention that if you’re ever in a position where you don’t have the time to regularly test or attend events, you should absolutely be leaning on the wealth of event coverage and information we have today. Between SixPrizes’ new coverage portal linking to the streams of every major event, Twitter accounts like @Pokéstats_TCG collecting data from nearly every League Cup, and Pokémon’s own website providing Top 8 decklists for every Regional, there’s really no excuse to not stay informed on the metagame. Of course, nothing beats actually getting your hands on the cards and learning the ins and outs of each deck via playtesting, but sometimes that simply isn’t an option.
Seeing the Scene: Vancouver Tips and Tricks
Pokémon isn’t just about the cards and match points, though. For me, the most enjoyable parts of Pokémon tournaments are the things that happen outside of the convention center. I’d like to conclude this article with a few recommendation on things to do, see, and of course eat, in Vancouver.
I’ve been traveling to Vancouver for Pokémon tournaments since 2012, and it’s quickly become of my favorite cities in North America. It’s not too far from my home in the Pacific Northwest, but it’s just different enough to be unique. If you’ve never been to Vancouver, or haven’t spent a lot of time in the northwest in general, you are in for an absolute treat.
If you have a little bit of extra time on your hands in the days before or after the event, I would strongly recommend checking out the Vancouver Aquarium. I love aquariums, and seek them out whenever I travel. In my heart, the Vancouver Aquarium is second only to it’s counterpart in Boston (though I haven’t been to the Atlanta Aquarium, which I hear is unreal). It can be a bit pricey at $39/ticket, but if you can swing it, it’s absolutely worth the trip.
If you’re looking for a more frugal option, I would recommend the nearby Stanley Park. There is a lot of ground to cover and a lot of nature to see here, and as long as the weather is reasonable (not always a guarantee in the PNW, sadly), I’d highly recommend you plan to spend some time at the park.
I’m looking forward to checking out Espot, a local arcade/LAN center within walking distance of the venue. I’ve never been, but I’ve heard great things, and at worst I’m sure it’s a fun (and according to their website, expensive) way to spend a few hours.
I could easily fill my next five Underground articles with Vancouver restaurant recommendations, but I’m going to show restraint (something I certainly won’t be practicing at said restaurants this weekend) and leave you with a small handful of recommendations.
4231 Hazelbridge Way,
Richmond, BC V6X 3L7,
Ninkazu is mostly known for their all-you-can eat sushi and late night specials, both of which I’d imagine appeal to most Pokémon players, and all sane people. I’ve only ever sampled their sushi, though I’m pretty confident anything you find on their menu will impress. This place is both great for groups and offers delivery, so no matter what kind of night you’re planning to have, they can accommodate.
5300 No 3 Rd #812,
Richmond, BC V6X 2X9
Because this tournament is actually in Richmond, and not downtown Vancouver as in previous years, I’ve actually never visited No.9. The important thing you need to know is that they have an extensive Cantonese menu and are open 24 hours a day. I fully expect to have one late night/early morning meal here, and I suspect I’ll see a few familiar faces while doing so.
8391 Alexandra Rd #2140,
Richmond, BC V6X 1C3
Fried chicken is one of the best foods, and for my money, Korea does it better than anyone. If you’ve never had Korean fried chicken, please make it a point to get your hands on some Cocoru at some point over the weekend. I promise you will not regret it.
Nero Belgian Waffle Bar
1703 Robson St,
Vancouver, BC V6G1C8
This is my favorite place to eat in Vancouver, and it easily find a slot in my top ten places on the planet. Nero serves a selection of both sweet dessert waffles, and savory options. Personally, I don’t think you can go wrong with a soft, chewy waffle covered in ice cream and fruit, but I suppose the savory waffles are also edible. This is further away than most of the options on this list, but I promise you that it’s worth it.
Importantly, many of the places on this list are cash-only, so I’d strongly recommend you bring some amount of Canadian currency. I’ve never had a problem getting a few hundred dollars Canadian from my local bank, but I’m not sure if being so close to the border puts me at an advantage. Note that you can use your debit/credit cards at most establishments, but for local restaurants and the like, you’ll want to make sure you have cash. The exchange rate is also favorable to USD right now, so there’s not really any downside.
You may have noticed that all of these are Asian restaurants. This is mostly what you’re going to find in Vancouver, due to the high Asian-Canadian (particularly Chinese-Canadian) population. I know there are a handful of traditional Western chains within walking distance of the venue, but I implore you to step outside of your comfort zone a bit and try something new. Experiencing the culture of a city via taking in their local cuisine is one of the most fun and rewarding things you can do, and you owe it to yourself if you’re traveling from far away for this event. No one ever looks back on a trip and thinks to themselves “I sure am glad I stuck with Subway instead of trying dim sum for the first time.” That is no way to live life, and it’s certainly no way to travel. No gamble, no future.
This article — “The Phantom Guide” – The Comprehensive Look at What Kenny Wisdom will be Playing (and Eating!) in Vancouver — was originally published on SixPrizes.
This post first appeared on Sixprizes.com - Pokemon Cards Explained By The Mas, please read the originial post: here