Well orginally I had submitted this what, a year ago, for that win Pokegym dice article thing, but I didn't win any. So, after realizing I still had this lying around, I modified it a bit and I am now submitting it here just in time for the MD Prereleases for you all to read. I personally think it has some good advice that can be used with any prerelease out there. Anyways, on to the article! So, you want to be prepared to greet the newest Pokemon TCG expansion in style? In this guide, I’ve put together some good general tips to help ensure you have a fun experience at a Pokemon TCG Prerelease. :thumb: The Night Before: You’re pretty excited at this point, as you will finally get to see and play with the newest expansion of the Pokemon TCG a good week before anyone else. You also might have read the latest spoilers of the set also to get a good idea of what to look/trade for, and what you want to get out of it (or may just be going in completely blind). In addition to catching up on the latest spoilers, here are also some good tips: 1. Get a good night’s sleep: Even though prereleases are generally considered “fun” in nature, a good night’s sleep will make it all the more enjoyable and allow you to play to your best. 2. Come prepared: A prerelease will only move along as fast as the participants are prepared. So make sure you have those sleeves for your new cards, a spare deck box or two to hold your spare cards, and some money for the entry fee and food later on all ready beforehand The Big Day: You’ve arrived, paid your entry fee, and are eagerly awaiting the moment when the Judges will hand out the packs so you can begin deck building. Remember to be courteous to the people around you; you might be one of those players who has been to X amount of prereleases, but be mindful that there may be new or younger players also attending the event and need a recap of the rules of the game. So be courteous during the Judge’s briefing session, as they often will cover new card effect questions as well. You can even take this further and help a new or young player learn the game (and thus promote one of the SOTG guidelines as well). Deckbuilding Advice During the deck building stage, here are some useful guidelines I find useful: 1. Separate your cards out; I find it’s usually best to put your cards into categories, such as Basic, Stage 1, or Pokemon from the same type. This helps to speed up the overall process of selecting what your final 40 card deck will be and being able to see just what types you should play. Don’t be concerned if the people around you are looking; odds are, you won’t face them anyways. 2. Take whatever Trainers/Supporters/Stadiums you get: Trainer cards are usually uncommon cards (some common), and most will aid your deck no matter what. Even the “worthless” Trainers like Pokeball and Potion can be of immense help in a prerelease deck. 3. Narrow your Pokemon type lines to 2-3 different types. The ideal deck will usually run 2, maybe 3 different energy types at most; too many different lines of energy means you won’t be able to attack as often since you’ll be lacking a particular energy. Colorless Pokemon shine here as you can usually attach ANY energy to them in order to attack. In addition, Pokemon with free attacks will also allow you to build up your bench with energy. Big Basic Pokemon (ie, Basics with high initial HP) are also great to have around in a deck. 4. Again regarding energy make sure to leave room for it! Remember, you’re allowed only 40 cards in a deck in this format, and usually about a third to half of your deck should consist of energy. 5. Build your deck quickly and efficiently. If you’re using sleeves, you’ll definitely want at least 3-5 minutes to properly sleeve your deck and tuck away your spare cards. And obviously, don’t forget to turn in the deck registration sheet if your Judges are using one. So to recap this section for deckbuilding: 10-20 Pokemon okeball: 0-1+ Trainer Cards 15-20 Energy Cards fire: :water: :grass: etc.) = 40 Cards total. No more, no less. Now that you’ve got your deck all built, take time to go over it and strategize what you want to do. After that, relax and wait for the first pairings to come up. Once they do, find your seat and wait for your opponent. Make sure to introduce yourself and shake hands, not just because it’s a SOTG guideline, but it’s also the proper thing to do. Now, onto the match! Match Advice During the matches, here are some good ideas to follow: 1. Have fun! This should be apparent by now; there’s nothing at stake at prereleases. No prizes, no points, no concern with that Worlds invite on the line; it's just some good old-fashioned fun. So relax during your matches and perhaps get to know a few people you perhaps never bothered talking to as well as enjoying time with friends. 2. If you have a question about an effect or ruling, ask a Judge! Remember, these cards are new to everyone, and more than likely not every ruling has been made for a particular attack or effect. So when in doubt, feel free to ask a Judge for clarification on a card. This also applies if your opponent claims an effect that you don’t agree with. Judges aren’t there as marionettes or something; they are meant to be used as a source for rulings. As one of our Judges often says, the worse mistake you can make is asking after the game has ended. 3. Don’t let a loss ruin your day. Once again, any wins/losses do not affect your final ranking or standings, so don’t take it hard if you lose. There’s no need to be a sore loser in any situation. Also in the same vein, don’t be a sore winner either; you’re not accomplishing anything by making yourself look like a fool. 4. In general, don’t spectate matches. Once you’re done with your match, head away from the playing area to the designated waiting area. Here you can trade (if allowed) and chat with friends. I know that some places may be more lenient on this during a prerelease, but it is still respectful to not linger over people playing their matches. Give them the same courtesy you’d expect from them. After 4 or 5 rounds, the Prerelease usually will end. Hopefully by now you’ll have had a great time in playing with the newest set and can share some happy memories with your friends and family. But before you go, here are a couple of things you could do as well: 1. THANK THE JUDGES AND STORE HOST! Seriously, it’s appalling how little people do this. These people spend their day (in which they could be doing something else) to cater this event to you, the players. They give you their time and effort in order to see that you people enjoy yourselves; the very least you can do is give them a “thank you” for all they’ve done. You can also offer to help clean up or assist in any way you can as well after the event. 2. Make sure you’ve got all of your stuff. This includes your deck, spare cards, and any other miscellaneous items you’ve brought. A lost item after having fun would definately damper the experience. In addition, make sure to check if you need to return your energy cards; depending on the place, some may let you keep them, others will want them back for use in future prereleases. 3. Enjoy the rest of your day. After a long day of playing, nothing is better than heading home and lying down right? Thank you all for reading! I hope that with this guide you can enhance the overall experience of attending your prereleases!