I been meaning to type up this little...well, call it a rant, if you will, about the direction the game has taken. I've stepped out of it so this might be considered hypocritical, but those are just opinions. This is just something I want to have other people consider. Now, over the past months, TPCI has been given a lot of flak for the way the current format is handled, and, more importantly, people fear what will happen with Black&White and most importantly the new rules it promises to implement - first turn trainers being the big one. When combined with Sableye Stormfront, as well as all the donk engine cards released in Legends Awakened, Stormfront and Platinum, people look with fear at BW. In the meantime, we have a format that is kept in a chokehold by Luxchomp, a deck that uses ridiculously cheap attacks. 1 energy drop on a virtual stage 1 for an 80 damage snipe? WHA?! Free retreat on him to a poketurnable poke AND DO IT AGAIN? Not to mention the ability to pull up any heavy retreat tech and make it be stuck? And while we're at it, heal any form of damage that doesn't one shot? Dear lord, who came up with that monstrocity? A lot of blame is put on the format. It is supposedly too big, thus giving this deck the room to get all it wants. A common culprint is Uxie (Legends Awakened, the second oldest set still present). In the meantime, a lot of hate also goes out to the Stormfront trio Gyarados, Machamp and Sableye, while the Gengar from the same set is also much loathed (Though the hate for him seems to have died down a bit). Without all these cards in format, people say, the format would be better. But can we truly blame TPCI for the current state? Methinks not. Let me explain. For those of you who are...relatively new to the game, before 2009 every season would start out with like 6 or 7 sets, expand to 10-11, then shrink back down again. In September 2008, we got a format consisting of a grand total of 6 main expansion sets - Diamond&Pearl, Mysterious Treasures, Secret Wonders, Great Encounters, Majestic Dawn and the freshly released Legends Awakened. 2008-2009 got off to a rough start, but soon it was found out that there were plenty of decks competing for high spots. The only slight issue was the sudden high amount of donks courtesy of Kingdra and Machamp, but aside from that the format was pretty wide open. With SP thrown in the mix, the format got even more diverse. SP was touted as being strong, sure, but not extremely overdominating. By the end of the season, there were a lot of viable decks, and other decks had their moment in the highlights and fizzled away. In the latter catagory we'd find Regigigas, Dusknoir, Kingdra, Toxitank and a few other decks. Those still viable (and newly viable) included Gengar, Machamp, Flygon, Luxape, Dialga, Palkia, Gyarados, Beedrill...and then some. Then the announcement came; there was to be no rotation at all in the next season. People rejoiced, nothing had to be tossed and with the format as wide as it was, no issues. At that point, SP was, as noted, good but not broken. The new Blaziken FB was hyped up, Relicanth SV was touted as SP Killer, Spiritomb AR was on the horizon as well should SP get out of hand and the new season started. But something happened that TPCI could not anticipate at the time because even in Japan nothing was known about it - Heartgold/Soulsilver. While often called a highly mediocre set, HGSS brought to us the monstrosity that is Double Colourless Energy. By the time the set was released, Garchomp had pretty much replaced Blaziken, making Luxchomp the best deck in the DP-AR format. It was good, yes, but not unbeatable and didn't sweep stuff like it does now. The release of HGSS and that one card in particular changed it. HGSS further added a great aide to all things donk - Pokemon Communication. This enabled stupidly fast swarm decks (Jumpluff says hi) to take control. Luxchomp and Jumpluff went crazy, and the monstrosity that is our current format was born. However, TPCI couldn't do that much about it. The only solution to really stop Luxchomp from keeping up its dominance would be to rotate out pretty much the entire DP block, cutting off its support, and then preferably Platinum as well. Think about that for a second, that would've meant them cutting 8 sets from the block at once. Can you say marketing disaster? Not to mention all the disgruntled players who can tos about 70% of their collection in one fell swoop? So TPCI went for the MD-On format. Not the best solution, but they just couldn't do anything else. And then we got news of BW...and the rulechanges it brings. Which brings us to present time. If we get BW in our current format with the rule changes, I can pretty much make a safe bet on Sableye swooping up the games, since if your opponent starts Sableye, you best have at least 4 Pokemon on the field if you want any form of a chance. It operates much like Uxiedonk, and if you ever played a GOOD Uxiedonk list, you know how painful that can be. Now increase that level of pain with a complete disability to use the ONE lifesaver MD has given us - Call Energy. If faced with Uxiedonk, the SP player can use Call Energy for 2 SP's, and then throw down a Power Spray. Good luck doing that against Sableye... Getting back at the start, we cannot blame TPCI for this. I think that they made a GOOD decision to not rotate out anything at the end of the first DP-On season. The format was wide open and predictions with the stuff the next set would bring us looked good. They didn't know about HGSS yet, and due to that set we now have the format we have now - riddled with donks and solitaire games. Even if they DID have insight to HGSS by that time (doubtful), they could never have anticipated BW. Japan tossed away a lot of sets at once. TPCI wouldnt get away with that, since USA/EU players seem a lot mouthier then the Japanese. TPCI can't win. But it isn't their fault.