An Old-Timer's Advice...

Discussion in 'TCG News & Gossip Discussion' started by DarkLordSigma, Mar 27, 2011.

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  1. DarkLordSigma

    DarkLordSigma Member

    I've read a good bit about the current state of the format. Though I'm not currently active in the game, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see what's going on and why there is such an outcry over the way things are.

    I've followed this game for around 12 years now. I first started collecting at the age of 13 when the original Team Rocket expansion was released. I got involved online through sites such as Pokegym, Pojo, and PTCO, eventually becoming an online tournament director for Pojo and an avid online player via Apprentice. I've played online with Jeremy Maroon before he went on to win Worlds in 2005. I eventually became a Professor, and opened the first Pokemon League in Southeast Georgia.

    In all those years, and through multitudes of Modified Formats, I've seen whole seasons go dominated by a small handful of decks, and I've seen seasons of great variety with very level playing fields and minimal deck dominance. I for one feel things eventually got better for the game as a whole when Nintendo took the reigns from Wizards of the Coast (perhaps I remember Entei/Cargo and Expedition Feraligatr a little too fondly). This game will always have its ups and downs. There are a lot of very intelligent people who play this game, who will pour over cards for hours and make fantastic deck discoveries that deviate from the "norm." This is how great archetypes are born, and this is how great rogue decks and tech decks are born.

    If you truly love this game as I do, my advice is to stick with it and bare the storm of unbalance. It may take a couple of rotations before balance is again realized, and even then things may not always seem fair. Do what I used to do in the meantime: spend some time pouring over cards that nobody else seems to play. Build some decks for fun, playtest them even if your chances of winning against top-tier decks are slim-to-none. Speculate over what the next Modified format will be and attempt to build some decks specifically for that format.

    Most importantly, don't let the game stress you out. When a game starts to cause more stress than enjoyment, you start to lose sight of why you play the game at all. This has happened to me in the past for many games, Pokemon included. You may never win a big tournament, or create some groundbreaking deck that changes a format. But that's okay - as long as you're having fun playing the game, and not letting stress get the better of you. Keep a level head, and keep your mind open. Again, I can't guarantee that you'll go on to be a tournament champion, but by not allowing the game to stress you out, I can assure you that your chances will be greater.
     
  2. pokemon54

    pokemon54 New Member

    I really enjoyed this article. You pretty much said what I am trying to do. No deck has really proved to be "The deck" for me yet. Sure I have done good in a lot of tournaments, but I really don't have a deck that I feel comfortable with anymore. The deck I did get comfortable with was Gengar (speedgar), but now that deck has been modified, and isn't what it was. To be honest I miss it. I However am searching for "The Deck" I am hoping that Black and White gives me more options.
     
  3. DarkLordSigma

    DarkLordSigma Member

    I know what you mean, Dylan. My favorite deck back in 2007 was Zap-Turn-Dos, which fell to the same fate as your Gengar I'm sure. I placed 11th that year at the Southeast Regionals (so close to top-8 cut!), but cards got rotated out, and new cards came in that made the deck irrelevant. I too miss playing many of the decks I put together in the "good ol' days," and now as a full-time student with two jobs, my ability to play in leagues and tournaments is nonexistent.

    Now that I live in the Atlanta area, I hope that some day I'll have more free time and money to get back into this game (I could certainly use a scholarship!). In the meantime, I'm extremely excited about PTCG Online, and I plan to become active in the online community once again.

    P.S.: Food for thought. If Wizards of the Coast had continued to hold onto the license for Pokemon, Disney would own the rights today. Who knows what the game would be like today if that had happened!
     
  4. Nintendan

    Nintendan Active Member

    I really enjoyed reading this. You are so right about just baring the unfairness.
    And you mentioned 1 main point why I hate some people - they get stressed out or only play to win.
    Hey, I play to win, but I don't care when I do bad at some tournament and don't make top cut (never have TBH). I just enjoy playing the games.
    At States, there was this REALLY intense match against a Jumpluff deck. He CopyCat'd and drew his only grass NRG in the deck to Mass Attack for the game. I wasn't bothered, even though I could have Dragon Rushed next turn for the game. It was really intense. That made my day.
     
  5. DarkLordSigma

    DarkLordSigma Member

    I encourage people to play to win. After all, that's the point of a tournament; there's a small amount of prizes that everybody's playing to win. If that means having to play a "cheap" or "unfair" deck, than so be it. Tiger Woods doesn't show up to a tournament with a bag full of Wal-Mart clubs. He shows up with the best equipment available that he believes will give him the edge. The same is true for any competative game. But don't rub a victory in someone's face because you're using a top-tier deck and they're not. And by the same respect, don't bash someone for using a top-tier deck when you didn't bring the best tools available.

    Playing successfully means more than tossing together 60 cards or copying some list from the internet. The best players put loads of work into a deck, studying cards, playtesting against multitudes of different opponents and decks, and tweaking a deck to perfection. Though deck composition is a major part of this game, critical thinking and luck also play strong roles in the course of a game. Luck can always throw you a bad hand, and can be the major cause of a win or loss.

    But all this being said, you have to have fun while playing. Respect your opponent, and hope they have equal respect for you. Win or lose, as long as you gave it your all, you should enjoy the game.

    Again, if you're tired of playing the same decks, or battling the same decks, then its probably time to take a break from the tournament cycle and start gearing up for next season, or building some decks for fun for the rest of this format. You never know what can happen; you may just stumble upon a groundbreaking setup that will either change this fomat or thenext.
     
  6. yoyofsho16

    yoyofsho16 New Member

    I remember that in 2008, people were calling for Gardevoir/Gallade to be banned despite its dominance only being within a year!

    What most people are angered about is how stale this format has been for YEARS. Since Luxray GL X has been released, it's been part of the most-winning deck every single set without exception. The format has been Luxray, some sort of Gengar, Gyarados, and (not as much today) Machamp for years. This is a bad mega-format, not just a bad spot in a season.

    For the long time it's been going on though, we're really towards the end of SP, so it's not so big a deal.
     
  7. NoPoke

    NoPoke New Member

    I agree with yoyofsho16. But I think he understates that a stale format is a BIG deal.

    yet you are not currently active in the game. From what I can see locally players, juniors in particular, are not sticking with it. I hope they come back and that the format is better when they do. I hope this is just a short term dip and that the lean times end soon.
     
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