Well this used to be easy under Wotc and trainerMon. Go FIRST. However much has changed under Nintendo and I think that the balance has been shifting in favour of the responding player. Has the balance shifted enough to make going second preferable? See here http://www.pokegym.net/showthread.php?t=1642 for some of the math behind the second player having an advantage. Pokémon has always involved an element of a race between the two players to see who gets set up first. This race is exemplified by TrainerMon. Being able to drop an energy ahead of your opponent coupled with Gust/Double Gust, allows you to take out your opponents biggest threat before they get to use it. Under Wotc there was no significant disadvantage to going first. ---------------- So where are we now... ---------------- SupporterMon is not as efficient as TrainerMon. Elm is no more (in the USA) Without Double Gust you can hide on the bench. The player going second can probably build on the bench in relative safety. So the player going first could get to atack first but if the attack is lauched prematurely then the opponent will bring out their monster and take out much of your resources. Going first now gives you a single card disadvantage. With the occasional muligan that disadvantage increases further. In addition the Muligan disadvantage is mostly with the starting player if you are using the Tournament Floor Rules. I believe that it is possible to capitalise on all these by building a solid defensive deck. I see Gust as an offense focused card and Switch as a more defense orientated card. Dble gust is no more but we still have switch. The new fossils are wonderfull defenders. Even Arcanine now has usefull defensive/Stall capabilities with its Fire Veil poké-BODY. I do agree with you that Only time will tell, but I also think that it is no longer an automatic choice to go first. Alll of Nintendo's changes are making going second much more attractive.