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DjJoe's Rants

Regarding Product and Their Contents

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First, I want to re-post a post I made regarding the new Black & White Trainer Kits, which was a response to why certain cards are not included and why World Championship decks and Trainer kits are separate products for a reason:

World Championships decks are made up of 60 cards that, when played by a certain individual, did well in a major tournament. These cards are highly advanced, complex, and have had many hours and experience behind them. By mimicing one player's set of 60 cards, you don't learn how to play well, you learn how to play THAT DECK well.

Playing one card to get the same ones over and over again, attacking specifically with one while holding back on others, and laying down key combos to win does not teach anyone anything about playing the game, it teaches them about playing and learning the deck. World Championship decks are HORRIBLE for brand new players who are learning the game for the first time.

Deckbuilding is a skill developed through playtesting. The Theme decks promote deckbuilding, in that they tell you in some places what cards to look for to improve that deck. The trainer kits also promote deckbuilding in that they give you a 30-card headstart for new players and it's up to them to fill 30 more. Remember, anyone reading these posts is not new- if you can look at the Trainer kit and say anything about it's quality as far as contents, the product is not for you and you will learn nothing.


As far the whole Catcher and other cards thing- Why? It's a Trainer Kit meant for brand new players who are just for the first time learning the game so they can get a step-by-step guide on how turn order works and how to get through basic mechanics of the game.

Pokemon Catcher and Trainer-Supporter cards do nothing to help this cause. For one, "Trainers", which include all three types, can be covered entirely in the Trainer-Item cards given in these Trainer Kits. They cover Deck Manipulation, Damage Manipulation, Energy/Field Manipulation, Attack Manipulation, and Discard Pile Manipulation. As a new player, that's all you really need to know. When you look at a Trainer-Supporter or a Trainer-Stadium, you can, as an experienced player, tell that the effects are just slightly more advanced, gamebreaking, and generally do more than the average Trainer-Item card. Doing more doesn't teach anything, it just confuses. To be honest, the only real difference is that Stadiums have a rule where only one can be in play at a time, and Supporters can only be played once per turn. While this is most likely key to understanding the game, most people forget- THE REMINDER IS PRINTED ON THE CARD. So to boil it down to simplicity, the only way you'd not know the correct way to play a Trainer-Supporter or Trainer-Stadium correctly, as a new player, is that you don't read the cards. And reading the cards ALWAYS comes first.

Can they just print cards like Pokemon Catcher and Professor Juniper in Trainer Kits? Yes. Should they? Absolutely not. For one, as said, it doesn't teach new players anything new that they can't already gather just by reading the cards. In these trainer kits, Resistance and Weakness are stressed, as well as Evolving Lines. Only a few pokemon have Resistances, some have -based attacks, while others need specific energy. There are no complex strategies, just generic gameplay to push a game in the proper and appropriate direction for new players. Secondly, the Trainer Kit is a product, subject to availability issues, as well as affordability. Keeping simple cards enable a low price($10-15 is not out of reach for learning a new game for two people) and maintain a stable availability. If you made advanced decks with decent cards that you can use in tournaments, chances are that any player may buy them for those cards, discard the tutorials that creators put time and effort in to, and make it extremely or moderately difficult, at least, for new players to find. The product, aimed at new players, should be made available at a decent production rate for those new players. Lastly, by including necessary "needed" cards in specific product, you reduce the need to purchase booster packs and other product, as well as limit Trading. When you set an availability of a card to a set value, there's no reason to get the card any other way- thus Booster Pack sets drop in value, and thus people are less inclined to buy Booster Packs of the set.
Secondly, I think the marketing team does an excellent job on doing what they do best- Marketing.

Many people look at product, whether it be sets, bundles, promotional items, or sealed product and begin criticizing it's contents until the Earth's end.

Without realizing, anybody that does this most likely does the one thing not to do- ignore the product's purpose. Remember, the world does not revolve around YOU, specifically. Just because it doesn't appeal to you means only one thing- the product isn't for you. Does a trainer kit help you learn the game? If not, regardless of contents, it is not for you. Does a World Championship deck help you learn how 2008 or some other year went down? If it does not, then it is not for you. Could you care less about a Victini Figure, a Unova Starter Figure, or a metal tin and would rather go straight for the packs? Again, if you'd rather go for the packs, then just get the packs.

The second thing most people don't realize is the target audience. While League Promos, as much of a gift as they are, are generally free, most competitive players are not pleased with them. League promos are not for competitive players. The target audience are league players, and those looking to have fun with their decks and playing without a focus specifically on winning over playing the game. In some cases, league players just want cards, or Character based cards, or shiny cards- whatever! But most people don't understand- League is not a place where the competitive players finish their decks, it's where the casual players play theirs.

The last thing is that all product has something to offer to everyone. Even the Trainer Kits, while aimed at beginning players, has alternate art foils for collectors. Darumaka (BW17) comes with two packs for players and a mini binder for collectors. When you buy a product, or even receive it in the case of promotional cards and product, you should be looking at it first and asking "Is this for me?"
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Comments

  1. LegendCallerL's Avatar
    I agree that the trainer kits are to help new players learn how to play. It even says that on the box.

    I agree that the world championship decks are more of a commemorative product.

    I somewhat agree about the tins and boxes thing. (Not 36 pack boxes. Ones like the Victini box) The figure or whatever is more like a bonus for buying that many packs grouped packs. However, the promo card that comes with them could be playable, like the Reshiram/Zekrom tins and the Victini Box, each having good cards for this format, so a semi-competitive player couild bother..

    I disagree with the league promos though. I am not a competitive player, (my rating has been 0.0 since I got my player ID), but I would appreciate cards that had some use to improve my game. You have a point with the "League is not a place where the competitive players finish their decks, it's where the casual players play theirs." thing, but I want my casual deck to be able to not get utterly crushed by half the people at my league even. It doesn't really matter though. Free Stuff=Free Stuff

    I just wish there was a product that would help new players learn to make playable decks. Like having thicker lines of the important cards, what trainers are really good, why having 1-1-1 lines everywhere is just asking for trouble, while giving them access to good cards. Catcher-Level good is not required, just some more supporters or items to keep their decks from looking like 27 Pokemon, 20 Energy, and 13 I/S/S.
    Updated 09/12/2011 at 02:19 PM by LegendCallerL
  2. djjoe227's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by LegendCallerL
    I disagree with the league promos though. I am not a competitive player, (my rating has been 0.0 since I got my player ID), but I would appreciate cards that had some use to improve my game. You have a point with the "League is not a place where the competitive players finish their decks, it's where the casual players play theirs." thing, but I want my casual deck to be able to not get utterly crushed by half the poeple at my league even. It doesn't really matter though. Free Stuff=Free Stuff

    I just wish there was a product that would help new players learn to make playable decks. Like having thicker lines of the important cards, what trainers are really good, why having 1-1-1 lines everywhere is just asking for trouble, while giving them access to good cards. Catcher-Level good is not required, just some more supporters or items to keep their decks from looking like 27 Pokemon, 20 Energy, and 13 I/S/S.
    The thing about league is that it's not the same everywhere you go. While your deck may get crushed in a casual game in NY, a NJ league could yield yours as a top deck, and a NC league could not even know what your deck is. Just because it doesn't improve your game doesn't make it worth-less to print, because it can improve a different deck that belongs to somebody else. When they print league promos, there is usually a theme, such as the upcoming one to cater to the Gym Leaders of Unova. Is a Lillipup going to improve a deck? Most likely not. Will having a foil energy help? Possibly. But the main goal of a league promo is to not improve decks, but to heighten enthusiasm for the franchise (I originally thought to say "game") by giving a theme for the first Gym Battle's pokemon. Above all, most people forget that they are gifts, and the only price you should ever have to pay is your time. The rest is your own fun.

    One point I noticed about product and what it has is that generally you want a positive effect. However, based on the contents, you don't always get that and sometimes it hurts. Seeing players as you described, for example, is one of those scenerios. However, you have to realize that time lapses. Meaning, while you can probably make a Top Of The Line deck that shows a player how to build and what to play, how long before they need a new one? 2 Months ago, a deck standard was to almost always run 2-3 combination Cleffa/Tyrogue/Elekid. Some decks ran more. Now, in light of the current set, and more to come, Running even 1 as a tech is basically under the thought process of "Why, so I can give my opponent free prizes?". So while yes- giving more trainers, supporters, and stadiums may help, who gets to decide if it's acceptable? With the "Theme Decks", the title does as it says- it's a deck with a theme. It's not a competitive deck with a theme, it's not a casual deck with a theme. Its a deck with a theme made up of cards from the most recently released set(s). Whether it's "Good" or not is purely opinion, as opinions can ALWAYS change over time.
  3. LegendCallerL's Avatar
    Maybe it's just because after seeing Uxie, Azelf, Claydol, Bebe's Search, and Roseanne's Research as league promos, Lillipup is pretty disappointing. Anyway, the league promos are not that big of a deal, I understand that they're free bonuses and that you can go to league to have fun, I've already admitted that. Fun was why I started playing this game in the first place - it's a game.

    The product that would help new players make usable decks do not have to be perfect conjoined to the meta. Rather than that, I was going for something more vague. Instead of the idea of a specific card being good to fit in as a starter, I meant to show that the concept of a starter in the first place is a good idea, which has been and depending on what people come up with, probably be around for awhile. What starter besides babies? Dunsparce, Stantler, Aipom, Numel, or something else I didn't list. Information that will hold true is what I want to teach to new players, like the
    Quote Originally Posted by LegendCallerL
    Like having thicker lines of the important cards, what trainers are really good, why having 1-1-1 lines everywhere is just asking for trouble, while giving them access to good cards.
    section of my argument. Oh, and keep in mind that this has nothing to do with the theme decks, I meant a new, different product.

    Anyway, thank you for posting intelligent blogs on the gym. I look forward to reading and commenting on your further writing.