Should you go first or second?

Discussion in 'Deck Help and Strategy' started by NoPoke, Oct 8, 2003.

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  1. NoPoke

    NoPoke Active Member

    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 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.
  2. SteveP

    SteveP Active Member

    I agree somewhat nopoke. Defensive play is now MUCH more feasible without Double Gust in the picture. I still prefer to go first for one main reason: it generally allows me to see my opponent's deck strategy first (if I don't know what he's playing) and adjust accordingly. By going first, I only have to lay down one Pokemon (if I have more than one basic in my hand). Going second, I almost always play more than one basic if I've got them.

    Plus, Desert Shaman is one of the deadliest disruptors for decks going first. Fear of Desert Shaman will certainly urge players going second to play all their initial basics and reveal their deck strategy.

    So, IMO, going second may have it's advantages, but between equally-skilled players, I'd say that going first still creates an offensive advantage and possible defensive advantage too with cards like Desert Shaman.
  3. NoPoke

    NoPoke Active Member

    Is Desert Shamen that popular? I thought that players currently prefered copycat. I do agree that if defense becomes the prefered strategy then Desert Shamen will be used to reduce that advantage.

    Also If I go second and have a single Fossil (40HP) as my active am I in danger of a FTKO? By only having a lone Fossil I get to see the opening players bench before they see mine! This has traditionally been an advantage enjoyed by the starting player..but maybe no more.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2003
  4. Spectreon

    Spectreon New Member

    With certian draw power your opponent can have now, (Delcatty, Linoone, Oracle and others) Dessert Shamman is a great Def/Of mix. Gets you a new hand, and hurts your opponent at teh same time. Aytime they can get any sort of card advantage, you can desrtoy it......

    As far as first or second, I still tend to like going first, but it generally depends on my starting hand/Pokemon. If I have something that is going to make sure I get some sort of card advantage. Cards like Copycat, Ziggzagoon, Dunsparce ect and I am defenitly going first. Plus, since most opponents want to go second, it means I go first like 90% of the time anyways......
  5. NoPoke

    NoPoke Active Member

    Hmmm, Spectreon you have to declare if you want to go first or second prior to looking at your hand. Or is that also missing from the floor rules? Goes away to check....

    No its in there.. Whoever wins the toss decides who goes first BEFORE either player draws any cards.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2003
  6. Spectreon

    Spectreon New Member

    Even still (sorry, I havent been able to play as often as I would like) I still know the odds of me having some sort of card advantage is going to be high, and I would still prefer to go first....
  7. NoPoke

    NoPoke Active Member

    erm I thought I managed to indicate that it is likely that you won't have card advantage if you go first in the other thread. Depending upon how many basics in your deck you could often be three cards down compared to your opponent. No Cleffa or Elm to give you a couple of new draws on your opening turn. That level of card advantage to your opponent could be devastating.

    BTW I checked through the decks posted elsewhere in the forum. Copycat is the New Elm but no mention of Desert Shamen.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2003
  8. P_A

    P_A Active Member

    When playing with Delcatty in your deck, the faster you get it set up and going gives you the draw advantage. Even with any other consideration, that would still be good enough to warrant going first in my opinion. If the opponent has fossils, the chances are they will be pulling out Armaldo, making any other draw power useless. The sooner I address that problem the greater my chances of getting other important cards.

    edit: I run a bit of hand disruption in both modified and unlimited. About 85% of the time it makes a difference in my favor. I like those odds so run Desert Shaman when I have room for it.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2003
  9. Porygon3

    Porygon3 New Member

    guess if your playing a stall type deck you want to go first as not drawing 1 card will help somewhat.
  10. White Gryphon

    White Gryphon New Member

    I guess this is something like a barrier against Trainermon, since the player going second has the advantage in getting Trainers in play against you, whereas you have to use your pokemon's abilities to try and block against the Trainers. But then, you might also get the chance at going second, so decks should be built with synergy between the powers of pokemon and the powers of Trainers.
  11. Ez1

    Ez1 New Member

    NoPoke raises a number of good points. Still I think we need to
    look closely at the following:
    1. First versus second
    A. If you go first you probably reduce the risk of an early game loss.
    You have the first opportunity to use draw cards like copycat, fan club
    and net search which gives you a bench to work with and develop. This
    will also increase your defensive capabilities as well as offense.
    B. The first to play an energy will generally(not always) have an offensive
    advantage. This will generally increase the number of times that you
    will get an early game win.
    D. You will sometimes be able to thin your hand down to a couple of
    cards making your opponents "copycats" much less useful. This
    will in turn slow your opponents building and attack capabilities.
    E. If you go second the card you draw will a number of times
    be of minimal value. This could put you further behind.
    F. By going first you have the opportunity to use a defensive
    card like shaman(nopoke's right-no often likely to occur) or
    of more importance possibly generating a status effect like poison or
    burn which may put immediate pressure on your opponent.

    Although the correct answer is usually "It depends".....I still
    believe that the best defense is a strong offense.....and think
    that going first will generally be advantageous.

    2. First turn attacks-this is probably a new thread but worth
    considering. If your opponent can now hide on his bench while building
    monsters then how do you counter.
    A few possibilities are: Mix in some solid early attacking pokemon
    that can put pressure on your opponent while using minimal energy.
    Use a few pokemon that can inflict status effects like poison and forces
    your opponent to react. Utilize hand disruption cards like shaman.

    3. Defending against first turn attacks. Some ideas would include:
    Claw fossil/root fossil-these buy time and claw fossil inflicts damage.
    Free retreat cards like Marill or walls like Chansey ex can reduce effects
    like poison or take a number of early turn hits. Chansey with a poke
    nurse or two can buy a lot of time. Also counter status effect cards
    like cacnea can make it less desirable for your opponent to attack.

    There are probably many other suggestions or possibilites and I would
    love to hear some of them.
    Great discussion NoPoke.
  12. Ez1

    Ez1 New Member

    Here is a sample Sceptile deck that combines a big hitter with early round
    status effect potential.

    Pokemon 19
    4 x treecko(razor leaf)
    4 x Grovyle(poison breath)
    4 x Sceptile(2 x energy trans. 2 x lizard poison)
    2 x Volbeat
    2 x Illumise
    2 x Solrock
    1 x Suicune(aq)

    Nrg 17
    13 x grass
    4 x multi

    trainers 24
    4 x copycat
    2 x oracle
    3 x prof elms training
    3 x switch
    2 x net search
    2 x fisherman
    2 x hard candy
    2 x fastball
    4 x poke nurse

    the idea would be to use volbeat/illumise to poison/confuse/sleep. One
    energy attack. This forces your opponent to react or risk second
    turn ko. Keep applying active status effect/attack on your opponent
    while building lizards. Use solrock to draw 3 when possible and is
    great against kitty litters. The Suicune provides some fire protection.
    Energy transfer on the big lizards allows you to poke nurse away damage
    and continue to attack.
    I think that it is important to keep pressure on your opponent and not
    let them build a lot of bench monsters.
  13. YoungJohn06

    YoungJohn06 New Member

    I agree with you. Going first you don't get to draw, but you can play cards first and get the first energy attachment of the game; not really giving you much of an advantage, but you get to evolve semi faster and use your stronger attack normally before the opponent.
  14. Articjedi

    Articjedi Active Member

    That crucial tempo advantage that comes from going first easily outweighs losing the first turn draw. You attach energy first, get your evolutions out a earlier, and you can easily make up for it with any of your trainers. There are still plenty of drawing cards in the set, and they should more than make up for initial disadvantage. Without gust in the format, getting set up becomes that much more important, because it is much harder to disrupt your opponent from theirs.
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