__________ The SCORING SYSTEM _____________ Foreward: This wasn't designed to be hard or tricky. It was designed to be REALISTIC. My own league was a THEME DECK ONLY for the first month. Regardless of who you were (or level of experience), if you came into my league, you either brought a theme deck or you purchased one on site (or you didn't play!). This enabled my 25 brand new players to get comfortable with the game without getting an inferiority complex. It also helped my experienced players embrace patience and spirit of the game. I'm a strong proponent of the theme deck. I actually teach Pokemon to kids and I travel to family game nights with theme decks to teach entire families how to turn this game into something that they can turn into a shared source of enjoyment. So, I viewed your contest decks as theme decks that would battle other theme decks AND would be played by new adults and children that have NO collection and NO experience beyond a league day or two. There were 6 grading categories: Ease of Getting Cards (5 possible) Level of Improvement (to the original deck) - (5 possible) Creativity - (5 possible) Simple Strategy - (5 possible) Frustration Level (to new player) - (can DEDUCT up to -4 from your score!) Presentation of Information (5 possible) EXPLANATION OF CATEGORIES Ease of Getting Cards: This has to do with how 'believable' your pulls and acquisitions are/were. Getting 4 primes and complete 3-3-3 line rom 7 packs is possible, but not as easy. If you have cards in your deck that were not available in the round, you scored very low. This was probably the most objective category. Level of Improvement: Some of you simply took out the trash; that's what has to happen! You look through the deck, take out useless randomness and put in something useful. Some others simply replacedone poke with another without a solid rationale. Those who just decided not to use all availalbe remove spots needed to have a REALLY good reason for what you've done. Those of you who actually made the deck HARDER TO PLAY received a low score. There were a couple of people who scored a 5 for this because they simply could NOT have picked a more perfect cards. Others were condescending like "kids like this" or "they get to use this because it's cute." When they lose helplessly all day long, they may become disenchanted and tempted to move onto another game (we don't want that!!) Consider this: The most popular pokemon in a theme deck ... Tyranitar. Not very 'cute' is it? New kids wanna win too! Creativity: If you simply expanded poke lines and a couple of trainers, you got an OK score. If you added pokes and cards that helped the deck's functionality, however, you gave it some more thought and earned a higher score. If you came out of the blue w/ a SICK couple of cards that just made the deck suddenly have a rediculously simple (but effective) combo, you scored high. Another approach is to go with a theme to flex your creative skills. For example, in a previous contest, Baby Mario, modifyied an entire deck around special conditions (with only 12 spots to play with!) and it was sick!! Some of you REALLY took out the available spot and made the deck foolproof and ready to SMASH UP! Nice job! Simple Strategy: If you typed a 3 paragraph strategy for a THEME DECK, you scored low. Theme decks for beginers don't have complex strategies! You need to keep the pokes coming and have somebody exciting-and-big to BLAST something! Many of you are thinking in "tournament" mode and overused cards that established tournament players know how to use because they have an advanced understanding of strategy. Beginners do NOT like shuppet or uxie (for example) regardless of how much you try to convince them that they're useful. All they see low HP and a low damage attack. Let's say you managed to get 4 shuppets in the deck. This would, technically, make the deck more functional for a new player, but the reality is those Shuppets won't see much play at all. A smarter New Player Strategy = attach to pokes until no more energy is needed and attach to the next poke. Blast and get prizes and be happy. Even when new players lose, they feel like they're in the action when they're hitting all game long. Frustration Level: You can't really understand this unless you watch new players (kids and adults) play theme decks a lot. Many of you made you decks setup heavy or used pokemon that will need tons of energy attachemtns. Others tried to use tournament-style combos. You didn't make the deck easier to play at all. Your 'strategy' for upgrading the deck is, actually, making the deck FRUSTRATING for the new player. They new player will end up with a handful of cards an anxiety about which card to play and when/why. If you used alot of "advanced" drawpower like Uxie or an insane amount of supporters/trainers that the new guy is going to have to sit there and read.. and read... and a read.. that leads to anxiety and frustration (to a lower degree). Some of your upgrades were OVERWHELMING. SINGLE COPY TECHS? ... that's too much. You need to up the frequency of a card to get them comfortable with it. For example: 4 Bebes, 4 Cynthia's, 4 Dusk Ball. They'll have a little reading to do at first, but they'll encounter the card so much throughout the day, that they'll get to a point where they look forward to getting it; they will gain FAMILIARITY with the card due to its frequency of use. Presentation of Information People who go that extra mile and give respect to a REQUESTED LAYOUT or a requested PM TITLE make things easy for the scorer to organize. People who submit lazy lists are evil and do not deserve a good score. _________ Conclusion ____________ Everyone is SO competitive and you guys did an amazing job of trying to build a better deck for the hypothetical new kid. TIP: If you scored low and you can't understand why, you may have to get out of "tournament mode" and try to think of this as beginner vs. beginner. Make your deck plug-n-play and avoid trying to do something 'different' for the sake of being different. Different is only good if it's .... better.