Are Prereleases Suitable for Youngsters?

Discussion in 'Prerelease Tournaments' started by Clueless in Seattle, Apr 20, 2008.

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  1. Clueless in Seattle

    Clueless in Seattle New Member

    In reading the stats in the message at the top of this forum: "GE Prerelease Attendances" by PokeMama, I noticed that , at least for the Washington State prereleases, the attendees seemed to be mostly masters, with very few juniors.

    My soon to be eleven-year-old grandson wants me to take him to a nearby Majestic Dawn prerelease up here in Washington State. Up to now he's only played with his cousins, and an occasional Saturday morning at the Pokemon League at a Seattle game store. I don't think he really has much concept of deck building skills or of game strategy, so I'm wondering if he might not find himself in way over his head at a prerelease and end up feeling frustrated and demoralized by the experience.

    I'd appreciate some advice on whether or not I should think about taking him for his birthday, or if the money might not be better spent on a couple of championship decks instead.
  2. Jason

    Jason New Member

    why not use the money on buying a MD booster box instead? They only cost like... 75$? :)
  3. Psyco Pedestrian

    Psyco Pedestrian New Member

    Well, there's always the Theme-Deck. You can pay 25$ for a Theme Deck and 4 packs. Are you worried about him playing in the event, or just building the deck?
  4. PokePockets

    PokePockets New Member

    I know at Prereleases here in Utah we have the professors help to other youngsters to build their decks for the Prereleases, i dunno what it's like up there in Washington
  5. SD PokeMom

    SD PokeMom Mod Supervisor Staff Member

    many of the PTOs run theme deck challenges during their prereleases. i do, because i always get players who have never been to a tourney or even league before. the TDC is the same price as the prerelease event, has fewer rounds, and is unsanctioned. TDC participants still get the 'goodies' from the main event: prerelease promo, and item (generally sleeves).

    players receive a random theme deck from the new set to play with. at the end of their tourney they get 4 boosters of the new set. i try very hard to steer new players to the TDC as imo it's more fun for them AND for the experienced players...and they still get the 'OOOoooohh' of opening 4 packs, at the end :)

    check with the PTO of your local events, and see if they plan to run a TDC at their event.

    good luck :)

  6. Clueless in Seattle

    Clueless in Seattle New Member

    I'm guessing that a "booster box" is something like a "case" of booster packs?

    If I'm guessing right, then do you get a discount by buying them a case at a time?

    If I were to decide to buy one of these booster boxes, would you recommend I shop online, or shop around the stores locally here in Seattle?
  7. The_Lurb

    The_Lurb New Member

    Hey, I'm from Washington to and the pre-releases are always a lot of fun. Both David and Terry (generally the people that run them) usually do theme deck challenges and are very happy to help youngsters/inexperienced players build their decks. The great thing about pre-releases is you don't have to be a top-notch deckbuilder to do well or even win since everybody only gets cards from the one set. Pretty much everyone is willing to help new players. It is true that there are never many juniors but the ones that do go seem to be pretty nice. I would definately take your grandson to a pre-release as you get a day of fun, you get to meet new people and of course you get some brand new cards.

    Feel free to PM me with any questions or whatever. :smile:
  8. Jason

    Jason New Member

    A booster box is 36 booster packs.

    A Washington person might be able to help you on the last helf of your question...
  9. Prof Clay

    Prof Clay New Member

    It is important to note that even Prereleases are age separated. They will pretty much only be playing other juniors or at worst seniors if the turnout is low. From what I have seen of the numbers in that region I am sure there will be plenty juniors (10-) for your kids to be paired with.

  10. Clueless in Seattle

    Clueless in Seattle New Member

    The Saturday morning Pokemon League here in Seattle is attended almost entirely by juniors, with two or three seniors and an occasional master or two from time to time thrown in for spice.

    So my concern is that at a prerelease, where nearly all the players are masters, my grandson may find himself so outclassed that he would just end up getting creamed over and over again, all day long, and come away feeling like he'd been run over by a convoy of garbage trucks. Not a very fun way to celebrate your birthday.

    On the other hand. If the masters he plays against turn out to be patient and helpful, he might end up learning a lot.

    So, having never attended one of these events, I'm trying to get a feel for what we might expect.

    Back to back posts merged. The following information has been added:

    Hey, that's good to hear! Looks like your message came in while I was typing my other message in which I explained how I was worried that he'd end up getting trounced by the experienced players.

    But, then, what about me? I was thinking of joining in too so I wouldn't get bored just sitting around while he was playing. But, other than a couple of games against a master, my only experience has been playing against, my grandson, his cousins and a few times at the local Pokemon League, which consists almost entirely of little kids.

    So, if we go, should I just resign myself to getting beaten all day long?

    And do you think I would I be regarded as a nuisance and annoyance to the experienced players because I really don't know how to play the game all that well?

    Maybe I should I just go out to the car and take a nap while my grandson plays?
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2008
  11. HoennAsh

    HoennAsh New Member

    During the prereleases, you wouldn't face anyone outside of your age division. For example, a junior wouldn't face a person in the master's division. So, he has nothing to worry about facing masters.
  12. Clueless in Seattle

    Clueless in Seattle New Member

    Thanks Lurb! You've convinced me.

    So if my grandson doesn't end up with a soccer game that morning I think we'll give it a try!

    I don't have a car, but I'll try to borrow my niece's car, or maybe we can carpool with other players from Seattle.
  13. The_Lurb

    The_Lurb New Member

    Glad to hear it and I hope you can make it!
  14. Croatian_Nidoking

    Croatian_Nidoking New Member

    I think Prereleases are ideal for youngsters. Not only do they get a bunch of cards from a set that hasn't come out yet (always a plus with the young), they also get to learn how to build a deck and how to form strategies. If you have trouble building a deck or developing a strategy, more experienced people are always available to help you.

    If you're worried about getting bored, you could join in the Prerelease yourself. That way, you could learn how to play the game and possibly even help your grandson out.

    In my experience Prereleases always seem to bring out the new kids, so by all means go for it!

    - Croatian_Nidoking
  15. WinkWinkNudgeNudge

    WinkWinkNudgeNudge New Member

    I was very much in your shoes a year ago when the first Diamond Pearl set was released. I think that the pre-release has a great leveling effect on the game play. When players have weeks to work on tuning decks and trading and buying high priced cards the differences in decks and the amount of practice different players have with their decks only increases. The pre-release is probably the event when newer players have the best chance to win or do well at an organized event. Limited turn out also works very much in the new players. My son, who was 8 at the time, came in dead last. However, there were only 4 players in juniors and he got a prize!

    I know that Jason recommended buying booster box, but it has been our experience that opening a booster pack and riffling through it for one or two rare cards is over in about a minute. We get a lot more out of reading each card at the booster draft cards that may never get played again can be were important at a pre-release or booster draft. We get a whole day's fun out of the 6 packs we open. There is plenty of help to build the decks and there are no rating points and such on the line so other players are even more helpful than they usually are. IMO there is no better place to learn the basics of deck building because you get to see the results immediately.

    As for you playing, I have to warn you that the game is highly addictive. I don't know exactly when I got hooked. But I am and I do enjoy the game immensely. It is as complex as any stretegy game I've played. I think that I was trying to build a deck for my son that would give him a fighting chance at a tournament. Something that is more difficult to do than having a chance at a pre-release. A year later we've played at city, state and regional competitions and have enjoyed them all.

    As far as collecting is concerned. Opening a booster pack and pulling a level X is great, but pulling a level X at a Pre-release is an entirely different experience. It did't matter what happened after that my son was going home a winner. At the end of the day my son had his 80 cards + my 80 cards, a pre-releasse card and cards sleeves that you can't buy off the shelf.

    We won some booster packs at Regional’s and held a booster draft at home with my two boys and my wife (not willingly). The boys had a great time and I feel we got a lot more value than just ripping the packs open. I really hope that you give it try. I think you will both have a good time.

    Charlie Schmidt (WWNN)

    P.S. - A couple of things that I learned at pre-releases

    Pre-release things to think about:

    • Start by organizing cards by type
    • Eliminate cards that you can't evolve to
    • Since you have a limited number of cards and few trainers it is hard to get Stage 2 Pokemon
    • Favor cards that cause special conditions (Poison, burned) because you are battling lower level Poke with less ways to recover and more turns for the condition to work
    • Look carefully at energy requirements, Pokes that need colorless energy for their attacks can work with any other types of pokemon and they can abuse the weaknesses in single type decks. Energyless attacks are even better.
    • Look for pokemon that have attacks that work like trainers or supports, (i.e draw, search etc.)
    • I usually end up with 18 - 22 Pokemon the TO (Tournament Organizer) will provide the basic energy you need
    • Once you start playing watch weaknes/resistance closely it can make a big difference
    • Retreating is important it is usually the only way to deal with special conditions and with only 4 prizes it is hard to make a comeback with more than 1 sacrifice. Low retreat costs are valuable in this respect.

    I'm sure that there is a thread somewhere on deck building guidelines for limited tournaments, but I couldn't find them. I'm sure others on the Gym would offer their insights as well. Perhaps you should start a thread. Your other thread "Easy Deck for an 11 year old" was well recieved and, I thought, generated a good discussion.

    Oh and as far worrying about if you will be an annoyance to other players, I have never met a player who wouldn't be elated to help a new player. Good Luck! Let me know how you both make out. I would be very interested to hear.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2008
  16. Heatherdu

    Heatherdu New Member

    If you can, go to the prerelease! My kids LOVE them. Literally, they write it on the calendar and count down the days. They have so much fun opening their new packs plus seeing the other new cards that others open. And I think the prereleases are the perfect first tournaments. As someone else said, it has a great leveling effect since everyone starts with packs anyone can win. My now 7 year old won two prerelease tournaments when he was only 6. And I let him build his own decks at the event. And even if the tournament doesn't go your way, you get more packs at the end and the excitement of opening those usually washes away any disappointment.

    We have never played a Theme Deck Challenge so I cannot really recommend it but I can give you some advice if you do the normal booster draft tournament. These are the general guidelines that my family uses. There may be better ways but it works well for my kiddos. When you open your packs sort your cards by color, trainers, and special energy. Then when all the packs are open you have a good idea where to start. If your water pile is the largest then chances are you have some water Pokemon that you want to play. At this point, pull out any evolutions that you cannot use like you got the Stage 2 Infernape but no Monferno so you'll never get to play it during the tournament. Remember that trainers, supporters, and most colorless Pokemon can be played with any of the colors and are great to put into your deck. You usually want to stick to one or two colors if possible otherwise you may start with a fire pokemon but never draw the fire energy that you need for its attack. The tournament organizer will provide basic energy so after you have created your deck (usually around 25 cards) go and pick out the appropriate energy (usually around 15).
  17. Lawman

    Lawman Active Member

    I highly recommend going to PRs as a "newbie". It is the only tournament were "experience" really doesnt count much. Sure, building a deck takes some skill, but there will be judges and others around to give tips/assist in building a 40 card deck. The deck itself will basically build itself based upon what you pull from the 6 packs (also known as the luck factor). If you pull the entire evo line of a poke, you tend to use it. If you get a Charizard, but no put the charizard to the side for now bc you cannot get him on the board in a game. After the event, you get to trade with others to work on your ideas. I would state though that if you are new to the game, dont just trust the person requesting a trade....ask the PTO or Judge at the event if that is a fair trade. Many of the MAs and some SRs will have read spoilers for the cards and have ideas on what they consider the "better" cards will be. If more than one person wants a particular card you or your family member pulled, odds are it is good and you may want to keep it for now.

    Good luck and have FUN!

  18. mumsascrappa

    mumsascrappa Active Member

    Go for it!! We have had lots of new players that are introduced to Pokemon just because they attend their first PR! Let them know he is new!!! Usually someone can give him the run down of the "how to's" lots of great information posted above! PR's are great fun!
  19. bullados

    bullados <a href="

    Everything that I would say is simply a rehash of whatever everybody else already posted.

    In short, YES!!!!! Prereleases are the BEST events to introduce new players to the game. Ultimate field leveler, *NEW CARDIES*, sleeves, and promos, I have never yet met a kid going to a good Prerelease who didn't enjoy the experience.
  20. ashinto

    ashinto New Member

    yes go. my best friend's brother went to a prelease as the first time he was in a tourniment and/or not playing me, my bro, or his bro. the boy made 2 in juniors, the first time he went. he did have me help him with the deck a bit, but he did great. and your grandson is about 2-3 years older than him, so he sohould do fine.

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