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DjJoe's Rants

A Game of Luck or a Game of Skill?

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Let me start by definitions:


Luck- in relation to Pokemon, it's an undetermined statistic that affects how in-game mechanics will affect a certain result at a given time.

Examples: Drawing a trainer card that helps with a card combo; Flipping a Coin Correctly; Having certain cards prized


Skill- Playing cards to decrease the probability of undesired luck.


Examples: Playing a trainer card that helps with a card combo; Using a card effect in benefit of a coin flip; Thinking on multiple levels.


Many can (and will) argue that our format is a Flippyness format. I agree, and stand behind it. But this time I'm not ranting about that particular aspect, but the people behind that aspect.

Let's start by declaring something: Pokemon is a game of 25% Luck, and 75% Skill. As a comparison, Yahtzee is a game of 99% Luck, and 1% Skill, while a game of Basketball is roughly 95% skill and 5% Luck.

Now I make these comparisons not to contrast Pokemon to others directly, but to show a different point.

In Yahtzee, the luck relies entirely on the 1/6 chance of getting a certain dice to appear the way you need it. The rest is skill knowing which rolls to take based on the dice rolls.

In Basketball, the luck is certain anomolies such as ball weight, surface texture, and bounciness. Skill is...well everything else you do.

In Pokemon, there's luck in what you draw, what's prized, and coin flips. If you think of anything else involved in a game of Pokemon, it's skill.


Now where does the format we are currently in blur that line? When Luck FEELS as though it dominates.

Example: Your opponent was taking beatings with a Full party Cinccino. Your opponent has had enough. Out comes Elekid/Tyrogue.

Their Turn: Attack
Between Turns: Asleep.
Your Turn: No capability of dealing with it
Between Turns: Wake up.

Repeat until domination.


Luck is a key factor here and can blur the line of skill. How do we counteract such a situation? Well let's go to the source- did you put enough skill into deckbuilding to deal with a sleeping baby pokemon? OR was luck involved and you just couldn't draw it?

Last format We were complaining about SP. SP, believe it or not, took ALOT of Skill. It involved knowing the cards, know what to do with those cards, involved knowing your deck, and knowing what to search for.

Luck was a minor factor. Uxie using Set-up to draw cards and not drawing situational cards that can assist would be the max on bad luck. Having all Garchomp or Dialga cards prized would be another.

Currently, we feel luck is a major factor because Special Conditions and Coin Flips are a key contributor to turning the tide of a game.


That's about all I have to say on the subject.
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