Looking Past the Fundamentals

Recently I’ve convinced my roommate to start playing the Pokemon TCG. He’s an avid Magic the Gathering player and plays rather seriously and competitively. He attended a couple of Battle Roads with the members of our Pokemon Podcast TCG group, Team Bouffie (formally Team Whimsy Tackle). Being new to the game we’ve had a lot of in-depth discussion about what the Pokemon TCG looks like as a whole. Last night we discussed information poisoning.

Information poisoning dictates a trend. For example, a lot of the decks we play in the US are influenced by what places well in Japan. Dragons Deck for example ranked fairly high Japan but here in the states hasn’t really shown much face. I have no doubt that the deck would have existed without Japan building it but would serious players have played it had it not done well in Japan?

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Expecting and Unexpected Decks

Battle Roads start next week, which means it’s time to stop playing around with Stunfisk and get our game faces on. There are a few decks that, without doubt in my mind, we will see at Battle Roads. There are also a few decks that haven’t gotten nearly as much play testing and may come up to surprise a few players.

Deck 1: Dragons (Fluffy-Chomp)

A no brainer, especially because there is a starter deck based around it, will we see this deck being played. The deck is typically Altaria/Garchomp but I’ve played against some variations.

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Ex-ceptional Way to Combat EXs and Dragons

Pokemon Worlds wrapped up and the MVP is going to be Darkrai EX. Don’t have a Darkrai yet? They’re coming out in tins at the end of the September. So instead of paying out the rear end for them for the modest price of $15-ish you can take home a Darkrai EX and a bunch of packs. The biggest take away here is that you need to run cards with utility. Utility is huge and making the most of every single card in your deck will help you over come and defeat your opponents. Lets talk about some Pokemon that may be worth splashing into your decks. 

Bouffalant is a machine. It’s attack, Gold Breaker, is designed to combat EXs. While 120 damage only one shots Shaymin and Mew it is still a huge chunk of damage onto an EX and puts it within easy KO range of almost any other Pokemon. Its ability, same as the Pokemon tool Eviolite, makes him a decent wall as we

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Dragon's Exalted is Crown Status

The trainer has used a revive! TCG Articles are back!

Hey Everybody! I know I’ve been MIA for a while and to be honest it’s because there is a lull in the TCG right now. We’re waiting for the Pokemon World Tournament to happen and since I’m not at Worlds, this year, I don’t really have much input to provide. BUT new horizons have started to arise and it is prerelease time for Dragons Exalted, the next set. Big picture excitement, we’re getting a new type which hasn’t happened since Neo Genesis. The new type is the forever favored Dragon type.

If you attend a prerelease you’ll pick up the prerelease promo card, which is Altaria, a super strong support pokemon for dragon types. Other dragons in the set include 2 different Garchomp, Rayquaza EX, Giratina EX and two different Hydreigon. Dragon pokemon have been dominating Japan’s tournaments so if you open these I think they’re worth hanging onto at least until the first battle roads.

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Nationals Wrap Up and Looking Forward with Dragons

Hey everyone! It's been a while since I've written and article but I really wanted to express my passion I have for the Trading Card Game right now. I had a blast at Nationals with SBJ, Irene, Chris, Travis, Will, Dominick, Kelsey and Kay and I wanted to especially thank them for cheering me on in the top cut at Nationals. I finished 61st in my flight out of 502 players and in the top 128 of 1005 players in the masters division.
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How to Be a Swag-izard in the TCG

Lets cover two important, pretty huge, aspects of the Pokemon TCG. First huge important thing, the national tournament. It’s coming up this weekend. Expect to play against every card in format because as time as proven crazy curveballs tend to do well. I don’t have a top pick but I think player are realizing that instead of playing to a weakness just making a deck that locks someone down is a strong option. Expect to see Acelegor/Mew and Vanilluxe/Fliptini.

KABOOM! Perfect segue to the way more fun and way more important part of this article. Have you seen these playmats that are in the pkmncast store!? If you’re new to the game lets cover some of the swag you need to be thinking about to be taken seriously.

Sleeves, they protect your cards. They have a few major brands each at different prices. My top picks are KMC, Ultrapro, and Dragonshields, in that order. When I bought my first pack of sleeves it’s a tough decision but know they won’t last forever. They get grimy the color chips or they’ll tear and you will need to invest in more. They also typically come in 50 packs so you’ll have spares. I would suggest using them for you’re top trade cards, full arts or whatever else you find to be really valuable.

Trade stuff that is worth trading for should go in a binder. The super cool looking Pokemon binders they sell at Target or Walmart are alright and will last a while. If you want a binder that won’t get wrecked, can get spilled on and beat up Monster binders or Ultrapro Pro-Binders are durable. They’re a pretty penny, around $30 but worth it in my eyes.

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Youngster Vinnie Uses Enrage

Vinnie uses Enrage. It’s Super Effective! Please take a second and strap into your chair. I am disappointed by success of the mono build deck. It’s silly and I feel really works against the spirit of the game. There are so many brilliantly built functions in the Pokemon TCG that reflect the VGC. Some examples, you’re ability to have one active Pokemon and five benched Pokemon, just like the game. The loss of a status conditions when retreating, not exactly the same but very close. The number of prizes you take when knocking out a Pokemon reflects your opponent’s Pokemon. A mono-build, a deck with only four of the same pokemon, works against this. 

There are definitely two sides to the mono-build argument. Yes it is successful and I agree it takes skill to pilot any deck. If you’re playing the Pokemon TCG as game where you want to win then perfect, read no further and build decks with only four of the same Pokemon. But if you have a love of Pokemon in you, if you play the card game not to be successful in any game but because you, pardon the cheesiness, want to be the very best then ignore the mono build deck list. Just as you wouldn’t build a VGC team of only four Terrakion or Groudon use some brain power and build a list that is not only successful but uses a variety of different Pokemon and strategy.

We’re in the middle of the battle roads season and straight Groudon EX has made quite the splash. There are other successful options out there. Darkrai powerful and I had a senior at my league take first with an Accelgor build.

Good luck in your Battleroads, I will be playing next weekend so stay tuned.  Let me know in the comments what you’re playing or what you think might be the deck to knock out mono-build Groudon. 

Pre-Release Run Down

Prerlease week 1 is over and unfortunately I was occupied with other card games. If you played I would love to hear how your games went in the comments below!  However you did or if you’ll be playing this weekend, I’ve got some bomb picks for the cards that will take you to the top of your prerelease next weekend.

In general when drafting a prerelease deck you’re trying to pick the cards that give you the most bang for your play. Pokemon with attacks that have multiple effects besides damage like status conditions or discard effects will be winners. A prerelease deck isn’t just a race for damage. That being said, EX’s will always have a huge play advantage. Just because you didn’t pull an EX, doesn’t mean the tournament is over. Lets look at Carnivine.

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The Odds Are Strong With This One

Probably at some point probability could possibly predict the postgame results for a match you’re playing in. Instead of covering a certain a card or strategy tip this week I’m going to break down how to figure out probability and how you can use that while playing to help get the wins.

Lets do some basic math work first. Reading this next part you’re probably thinking “We already know all this” but in case you don't know how to figure out probability this should help. We have 60 cards in our deck. We will draw a hand of 7 and then set aside 6 prizes leaving 47 cards in our deck. So lets determine the likely hood of...

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A Wilde, Oscar has Appeared! (to Discuss Deck Building)

Lets talk Durant for a second. The deck is out of tier 1, probably even 1.5, but the actual skeleton of deck is solid. Ten to thirteen energy, a large trainer base, and probably no more than six Pokemon with three to four of them as same main attacker. Durant used this because Durant’s devour attack required more Durant in play to be effective however it’s working for other decks as well. This skeleton is also used for the mono-Terrakion build that saw some play at states. This week at the Whimsy Tackle table SBJ brought a new contender into the ring with a mono-Kyruem build. What is making these decks function so well?
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