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DjJoe's Rants

Pocket Monsters or Pokemon Trainers?

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When I build my pokemon decks, I start out with the pokemon. Every time.

If I want a Scizor deck, I grab 4 Scizors and 4 Scythers, and some friends of it. I grab energy, usually 14, or up to 18 if it's a Grind attack, and THEN I grab my Trainers and supporters. If I wanted a Steelix deck I'd grab 4 Steelix and 4 Onix and go from there.

Pokemon has evolved (no pun intended) from being a game about Pocket Monsters to being a strategic game through the hands of a player.

I blame Trainers. All of them. Trainer-Items, Trainer-Supporters, and Trainer-Stadiums. A player shouldn't need ALOT of non-pokemon cards to have fun with or win in a game. Unfortunatley, that's not the case. It seems that to win, you need a balance between Pokemon, Trainers, and Energy.

In reality, there's only so much you can do in the Pokemon games or watch on the shows. Examples being that in the games, you get a choice- attack, Retreat, or use an (ONE) item (We'll ignore running away). That's all. In the TCG, you can Retreat, use multiple items, get some help through supporters, be aware of your surroundings with Stadiums, and still attack. In the show, you watch as battles are conducted using a strict Attack-Attack style, with multiple items and assistance after battles.

Would taking trainers out of the game change it drastically? Of course. But that's just it- we need change. It's not right that there is so much Trainer interference in a TCG Pokemon Battle in comparison to that of either the video games or the tv show. Can you imagine Ash saying "Okay, I'll bring back Pikachu and you bring back ____. (Seeker)", or a Potion magically refilling itself or an Expert Belt suddenly reappearing because Ash threw Bulbasaur and Squirtle in a hole somewhere? (Junk arm) Pokemon Collectors are either Trainers that want you to lose or people you meet who really just show you what they have- 0 of them ever give you Pokemon, nevermind 3!

Imagine this- no Trainers, and how often would you end up with Basics?

Imagine this- no Trainers, and how often would a game be over in one attack?

Imagine this- no Trainers, and how often would a player's turn last more than 1 minute?

I think we're getting spoiled with cards like Pokemon Catcher, Pokemon Communication, Great Ball, Max Potion, and Pokemon Collector. Alot of them truly are unfair- not just ingame, but ehtically too.

I think we need to have a game more focused on the Pokemon rather than the Trainers.


  1. bullados's Avatar
    You obviously never played in Base Set days. Here's the basic outline for the BDIF back then...

    7 Pokemon
    6 Energy
    47 Trainers

    The game has pretty much ALWAYS been Trainermon since the beginning.

    BTW, there's really no way to have the TCG perfectly emulate the VGs. In the VGs, there's no concept of evolution in a single battle. If you want a better analog of how a single game of the TCG compares to the VG, compare it to You vs Rival. Not a single battle, but throughout the entire game. You each start with your own Starter Pokemon, which you can choose. You catch certain Pokemon, choose to train certain Pokemon using various devices including potions, held items, etc. And you battle each other several times throughout your adventure, each time a victor emerging. And each player thinks of different strategies to counter their opponent within the limits of 6 Pokemon they can carry.

    If you think of each TCG battle as being an entire VG adventure, it makes more sense.

    BTW, I LIKE long, strategically thought out turns. I LIKE having my deck available to me. I DISLIKE topdeck-dot-game, which is essentially what you'd turn Pokemon into. If I wanted to play topdeck-dot-game, I'd play YGO or Magic.
  2. djjoe227's Avatar
    Of course not, I only started playing when HS Triumphant was released.

    I appreciate the input, but let me elaborate just a tad because I've played both Magic and Yugioh and couldn't agree more.

    What if, instead of what we have now, we had more Pokemon-based effects. Right now, we are minimal on Abilities, Pokepowers, and Pokebodies. And at that, only a few are truly playable. Every other effect from a pokemon comes at one point- the Attack. What if, instead of Trainers, we had Pokemon with those effects and thus were limited to having only 6 different effects each turn? Of course none of this is remotely possible with our current, or any previously released, cardpool.