Monthly Archives: November 2013

Upcoming UK Regionals

Hello everyone (if anyone is reading this at all). I thought I’d just do a small informative article/update today as I don’t have much else to talk about.

Tomorrow is the first major Pokemon TCG  tournament in the UK this season. Yes finally we have some sanctioned events! These are our first batch of Regionals, the dates are as follows:

30th Nov – Manchester

7th Dec – Scotland

14th Dec – Cornwall

Excited as I may be I am only going to the Cornwall event as I have work commitments tomorrow and Scotland is waay too far for me to travel. But still I am looking forward to seeing the results of these tournaments and will be keeping a keen eye on what decks are doing well.

Obviously playing in the last week of Regionals I should have more knowledge of the meta going into it so I can choose what deck I believe to be the optimum play. Everyone else will as well of course, it just means I won’t be going to the event not having a clue what sort of decks will be popular.

As i see it I have three main deck options available to me at present. I am favouring one over the others but whether I actually end up playing it depends on how well it does in the previous two weeks and how well other decks do that counter it. Preferably I would like it to not see much play so that people don’t think of teching against it too much. It’s a consistent deck that has fairly good matchups all around and I really enjoy playing it so hopefully that’ll work out!

Going into a big tournament is a bit of a minefield. Especially in the current format where nobody knows what is necessarily the best deck. Doing well may simply come down to getting the right matchups for your deck on the day. I have real hope for this format and fully expect it to be very fun to play in so win or lose I’m sure I’ll have a good time anyway!

On a sidenote I’m also going to be writing some card reviews every week for a friend over on her blog (http://cyndaquilblogs.wordpress.com/) first one should be going up soon so check it out! That’s all for now, hope you all have a nice weekend.

-Ryan-

The winds of change – Thoughts on the new format.

If some of you read my first post you may remember that I promised to write a deck profile for my next piece but I decided that I want to talk a little bit about the new format that we have just entered.

The winds of change

New beginnings

New format he says what is he on about? I thought we already had a rotation? Well we haven’t had another rotation, but we’ve had something just as big and important happen to the Pokémon TCG. On the 8th of November the new X&Y rules came in place. If you don’t already know the most important rule changes are:

  • You must flip a coin to decide who goes first before any cards are drawn (The winner can decide to go first or second)
  • If you go first you may not attack on your opening turn.
  • Pokémon Catcher now requires a coin flip.

I’m sure most of you already knew that though and are busy testing under the new rules. And if most of you have had the same experience I’ve had you’ll know that this game just got immensely better and so much more fun to play. No more worrying about donks or turn 1 pressure, you can actually evolve Pokémon and your opponent can’t simply Catcher a Pokémon or strategy that you’ve been building up on the bench and take easy prizes.

One thing it brings back is the skill of deck building. Instead of ensuring yourself a win on the majority of occasions by just copying and pasting lists of the Internet, individuals can now spend time building lists and perfecting decks that couldn’t have been played before in the fast paced format.

Stage 1 and Stage 2 decks now have a place in the format and I’ve really enjoyed playing against some fairly intriguing lists in the past week. We are at a point where nobody knows exactly what is going to be good. With such a wide choice of decks to play it almost certainly depends on the local Meta as to how well certain decks can perform.

Some of the decks that will definitely see some more play:

Rayboar/Reshiboar

Empoleon

Darkrai/Hydreigon

Round

Ho-oh

Klinklang

Catcher vs. Escape Rope

The new looking Catcher

The new looking Catcher

Lastly I’d like to touch on this subject. I have been doing some testing with lists that included Catcher. It’s definitely still a viable card but I think to justify running any at all you need to run at least 3 copies and even then I’d consider changing them for something that adds consistency or improves a certain matchup. I quickly took them out as I think you need to concentrate on your deck’s strengths. Adding more helpful cards will usually win you more matches than the possibility that you may Catcher out 1/2 of your opponents Pokémon in a single game.
Onto Escape Rope. I think it will see some play. At least it guarantees your opponent has to switch their Pokémon (unless they play Togekiss) but of course you don’t have any control over what they switch in. It also has a double use as it provides you with a switch but cannot be relied upon to grab you up the Pokémon you wanted. My tactics against it have been to either:

Promote a Pokémon that can take a hit or that you don’t mind being KO’d

Promote something that can retreat easily or for free.

It’s definitely not a replacement for Catcher but make sure you are ready for when it does get played down!

I think Virizion/Genesect decks have an advantage in this respect in that they can use Genesect’s Red Signal Ability to have the same effect as a Catcher. It’s not something they will use often but it’s at least an option that the deck has.

You may also consider running a 2-2 Ninetales line for 1/2 guaranteed Catchers a game if you can find the space in your deck.

Ninetales from Dragons Exalted.

Ninetales from Dragons Exalted.

Anyway that’s all from me today. I hope you’re all enjoying the new format, and testing furiously for upcoming events (Cities in the US and Regionals in the UK or whatever the next big event is in your country) If all goes well I should be putting up another post next Monday.

Thank you for reading

-Ryan-

Introduction, why should you read this?

Hello and welcome to this brand new blog about the Pokemon Trading Card Game.

First off I’ll give you a quick intro about me and what I’m aiming to achieve with this page.

My name is Ryan from the UK. I got back into Pokemon about 4 years ago after buying Pokemon Platinum and have been obsessed again ever since. I have been playing the Pokemon TCG competitively since the middle of the 2011/2012 Season. I quickly enveloped myself into the competitive scene here in the UK and have made some great friends so far!

So why should you read this? Well playing the last 18-24 months I haven’t had that much success winning only a couple of small tournaments. This has mainly been down to me not going to that many tournaments because of work/travel difficulties and taking breaks from playing the game altogether. But I believe I can provide (or at least attempt to provide) some helpful insight into the TCG be it deck lists, strategy or just general thoughts and opinions.

I have experience writing for several gaming websites and have previously written a gaming blog albeit slightly unsuccessfully. With the Pokemon TCG being a very important passion of mine I think I will be able to make a success of writing about it.

I hope most of you know what the name of the blog references, if you don’t a Stage 1 Rush is a type of deck that was popular when I started playing and it was my first competitive deck. It involved using multiple stage 1 attackers that could hit hard and fast whilst being able to cope with most of the meta at the time, a bit like the Flareon archetype that we have at the moment.

Anyway that’s the intro out of the way. Next time I’ll be straight down to business with a profile of a deck I’m currently testing for Cities this winter.

-Ryan-