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Tag Team Pokemon TCG Podcast
Tag Team Pokemon TCG Podcast

Season 2, Episode 17 · 1 year ago

2-17. Rebels with a Cause

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/ for more info on BLM causes

The boys are excited to discuss the results of the final Limitless qualifier! What are the top tier threats of Rebel Clash?! And what in the world is going on with the Player's Cup?!

What is that? Everybody, welcome back to tag team, the POKEMON trading card games premier podcasting D my name is Riley Hulbart, joined by my good, good friend JW creewall. JW, how are you doing today? Hey, I'm doing good, Riley. Thank you for asking. We just yesterday finished Avatar, the last airbender on Netflix, and what treat with that? Your First Watch through of the show? It is my wife was addicted the whole time. She was just like she was. We went through it in like three days, but it was mostly just her staying up till like zero in the morning watching, you know, major parts of the season. Wow. So, yeah, I did find you know, I watched. I watched the big thing. I watched enough to like understand the general plot. Shut there were like care like I knew none of the Jet Arc oh no, so I was like so confused when this guy pulls up and you know, all the characters have, you know, this relationship with them. I don't know, it's just it was pretty funny. That's so. But yeah, that was that was the big excitement this week in the creewall house. Very Nice, very nice. That show is definitely one for the ages. I think that was a phenomenally done show, one of my favorites growing up, and it's still something that you can revisit and appreciate as a as a you know, artistic medium and story well, and they didn't overdo it. Three seasons worked out real nice. Didn't try to, you know, extend it for a long period of time, just kind of night fit nice and snug. Now it there's no other state. It's welcome. There's no depth to the characters, but not being like they weren't trying too hard to just like keep it going, keep it alive. So I really appreciate it as a whole, really great piece art. Yeah, for sure. What's new with you, Riley? I've just been working real hard. Man Working real hard. A lot of stuff going on in the you know, employed world, but I'm trudging along. It's it's a taught me a lot of time management, to say the least. And but I think another important piece of that is knowing when to step away, especially when you're working from home right and like the line between your work and your personal life become increasingly blurred, especially, you know, now during like an epidemic, when it's you not really leaving as much in the first place. So it's lying gets increased, pleasingly blurred between your work hours and your home you relax hours. and to me, I think something that I've learned in the last couple weeks is, you know, knowing when it's just the limit for the day, right, and not for sure self and overworking yourself and being willing to say, you know, now it's time for you know, to relax, to be me and a step away. Obviously, if there's obligations like those come first, but like yeah, yeah, of course, but just to say, you know, you know what things need to be done, you do those and then exactly, just at the end of the day, it's your time, exactly exactly. I think. I think that's something that you can take into like all sorts of facets of life, right, is like you need to be able to carve out like time for yourself and like have respect on yourself and that kind of way. Absolutely so, Davy Jada or Chatton for the podcast, and we feel like there's a lot going on right now. If you're unaware and we just feel the need to actually say something. Granted, JW and I are two white men. You know, we're not. We're not qualified to speak to any details on these subjects and we're aware of that. But what we do want to say is, you know, tag team and our community and Pokemon is a whole is something. It built upon inclusivity and that's something that we've harped on in many episode now, and that obviously extends to not only people of Color in general, but specifically to the black community, which has been dealt a great deal of injustice over, you know, the course of American history. So we stand with you. Tag Team is with you all the way. Our whole community is with you and personally, I'm going to be donating all of my twitch earnings for my most recent twitch payout to black lives matter movements. So that's great. I just want to well said riling. So I just I don't think we need to, you know, stick on it too long because we aren't the platform to consume that information, but I think in the description for the podcast this week I'll include some links that you can check out if you want to dig further into that and find more ways to support those movements. Absolutely. Yeah, I've been having these conversations with my wife a lot over the last couple days of what it means to have privilege and what it means to raise up those that are in a different situation, you know systemically or you know otherwise, just that are in in low income situations or just are oppressed in many of the...

...various ways that one can be oppressed in America today. And so just it's good to have these conversations again, like you said, I'm not the most qualified. I would point you and we will point you to many resources that you know, you can take advantage of to look at to educate yourselves and others, and did just want to say that we are in full support of the various movements that are going on right now and we wish the best for our black brothers and sisters and we just we stand with you in solidarity. Absolutely, absolutely so. Again, you know, our community strong. I hope that you all reflect those values as well, because I think we've built up to really inclusive, positive community in tag team, even within the niche at Pokemond, which is, you know, has that sort of element of being inclusive. Stepping into the pokemon realm of things from there there's been quite a bit going on in the prokemon world as well, we've we just came off our limitless qualifier for JW rocking with the Peka Ram in there, the final limitless qualifier before they're you know, actual invitational style event. So JW walk us through the peak a Ram experience before we get into like the actual winners at this tournament. Yeah, well, I was really confused the night before, as I feel like I always am, but just really wanting to make a good showing in the last qualifier. I'd kind of been, you know, I'm not going to put it all up to the lock, but just I had felt like in the last couple of qualifiers like it just didn't quite go my way and I was looking for a deck to play that was just ultra consistent, that I felt good about and that had, you know, pretty good matchups against the field. And so I was really between Dragon Culter bliss cephalon the night before and I was trying to figure out, you know, and I was going on it over on the stream and just playing both decks and they really didn't call to me in any way. And you are actually one of the ones that was just like hey, you know what, play peak a Ram like that deck is just so good and I'm like, yes, you're right. The thing that I valued the most about peak ram was that I didn't really have unplayable hands when I was playing that deck. I could always do something, you know, I was always attacking turn to I was always putting some amount of pressure on and I felt that that wasn't quite what I was getting with the Blissa Fla on deck and in a lot of cases the Dragon Paul Deck was just falling a little bit short in certain matchups, and so I was like, okay, you know what, I'm going to go with just the most consistent deck that I know, deck that I've played in the past to success and a deck that I just expect to be a solid call for the tournament. Nothing very, you know, spooky in terms of the metagaming. You know, I wasn't trying to go for anything unique or unheard of, but the peak around list, I felt was very strong. And I'll go over just the rounds very quickly so people know. But round one I lost to a dust stocks deck, which just wasn't the way that you want to start the tournament we had. It was just so close, like we had we got it down to the last prize and we were looking for our malow and Laana and it just didn't happen for us and it's like, you know what, that's how it goes like. If we get that Malon Laana, like we were fine, but we don't and we lose. And then the second round we had a Dq or the the opponent didn't show up, so he was eliminated from the tournament. That was a w we beat a blound's deck, which I knew going in was a pretty unfavorable matchup and I figured it okay, if by hit too and one dead draws, then that's kind of where I want to sit with that matchup. And so we did hit one. In round three. They did end of dead drawing to the win. They are. Round four we played dragon poult and I would say that this was the one favorable matchup on the day. Like if I could have played all my rounds against Dragon Pult as the peak around player, I figured I would have made day two, and so I was looking for the Dragon Pult DEX for sure. That felt like a very solid, winnable, favorable matchup. Round five played the peak a Roum. We won. Around six we donked a spear to another deck that I was really concerned about heading into the day, but didn't figure that I would see too many. And again it was kind of like the Bliss Flon, like maybe we'll see too maybe if we can talk one, then will be living large. You know, we'll come out of that and feel like we were successful. And then round eight, after the lunch breaks, I'm sitting at what five and two at this point? Around eight, played against a Blis flon. ended up losing that one. Around nine, peak around was a dub and I'm feeling great, you know, sitting at seven and three. But then we faced another peak, a Ram that got an unbelievable...

...turn one. It was just like the funkiest turn one they had for energy switching cards and they use like three of them or so. It was just very bizarre how they got their turn one. Ended up doing it and really in that peak around mirrors, like if you if you get the first turn full blitz, you're just in the drive receipt for the whole game. And then ended up losing another one to blows Felon around eleven. So I just felt like the matchups weren't really favorable for me. Hitting three blow cephalon. We did come away with a win against one of them that we don't but especially, you know, the two spirit tomb we could have easily lost both of those. Really felt like I only had the one matchup that was that was extreme favorable in the dragon pull deck and then, you know, got the the positive side of variance in the peak rom but overall, six and five ended up stopping there and not a great day. I still feel very strongly about the deck choice. It was the most popular deck and day too, of the limitless qualifier number for and so I can't really hate on the list or the choice that I made for the event. But like all three that I was kind of deciding between, it the last moment. We're good, but in the end I just couldn't get there with the peak around deck. Yeah, I'm Pe Kurram even taking that a step further, was the most popular deck in the top sixteen as well, getting a huge amount of representation relative to some of the other decks. So, you know, I don't think he made a mistake in your choice, and that's part way me standing by ground as well. That I think was a good choice. Yes event. Yeah, unfortunately, you know. So the story goes like you know, only so many peak roms can get the good side of the variance that make it all the way there, though. Right, that's great. You know there's to be some peak around that that dies for the sins of the ones ahead of them. That's right, it's that was you this time. That was definitely me, for sure. I definitely fell on the sword. So let's talk about how the tournament actually panned out. So at the very top we had a mirror match between is wool and a player from Japan. His name is escaping me right now. It is to Cato Secky. Yep, exactly, and so Takato and is a will both rocking the compos ash in deck, and this is a deck that was kind of a known quantity through the entire rebel clash format, but only really making an appearance, at least in in the ways that it has now, at this tournament. So you know myself, I I kind of underrated, I think, Compos Osh and JB. I don't know if you feel similarly, absolutely, but to me, I think what sticks out about it, and I think this is something that you'll adhere and like commentary of these matches and amongst players who evaluate this deck is compos ash and really takes advantage of probably what's the strongest card that they printed a long time, and that's the scoop up net. And Yeah, I don't think any any deck really utilizes that card as well as Compos ostion. You can maybe make some arguments, but I think, I think, when it comes down to it, like as far as as a high raw power level, and then it's further supplanted by being able to very effectively use the scoop up net card, and that being to get your Gerashi Combo off multiple times or to get some insane like Gerraci plays. It's just generally a consistency card. So and to me, I guess that was something I just undervalued. I thought the damage output would be too low and clearly yet that was not the case. To w what are your thoughts in the COMBOS option deck? Well, I think that, first off, I think it's very, very strong. After playing with the the polished lists, I've seen the power of the deck in that it can really take a solid matchup to almost anything if it does, you know, assuming it draws some things it needs. But it has that built in consistency with S aution. So it it usually does. I think for me, what led me to believe it maybe wasn't quite the right deck choice for a tournament like this would be that it's awfully fragile in a way, and what I mean by this is that you generally set up like one's astion on the board at any one time. There are times where you can get to down. I mean that that obviously happens, but a lot of the Times I find myself with just one's on the board, powered up, you know, attacking, but then I have to save my bench slots for all the support Pokemon that I need to take that extra prize, and so it leaves you in these very uncomfortable situations where you could get Marni or reset stamped and then just kind of not be able to pull the pieces together to get another zastion going to take the final attacks. And that's where I was kind of heading into the tournament,...

...just kind of not feeling that the deck had the strength to go the distance. I think there were some innovations that I saw from a Zoul's list and Takada's list that were very, very cool and added a lot to the deck that I really hadn't seen before, but overall it is, in my opinion, the strongest deck of this format, just like ATP was the strongest deck of last format for just being able to put your opponent on a turn clock. This does the exact same thing, just in a different way and a slightly faster way, making it that much better. And the prize trade is a lot better than ATP where you could take down a three prize pokemon and then just snipe off, you know, a Geraci as well as a de dennirization like this one, you pretty much have to go through three Zation. If you just add up the total hit points. There's a significant difference there in terms of, you know, the meat that you have to go through as the opposing deck to take your six prizes. Yeah, and I think I think you kind of hit on a lot of the things that I would say and agree with. For me, I the damage output was initially off putting because I thought that there would be more of a tag team centric Meta. I suppose. I thought you two would still be, you know, a viable option. I thought, I like these atpdcs and still be a factor. I thought, you know, the damage for speak, Ram would be a a elevant number. But what I think ended up happening is, as the Meta has shifted in a way that you know, now drag a poles a favored deck, and you know, even peak ram like you can still find that pretty clear routes to win. And then in Zash and mirrors like there's no reason to really power up and ATP and waste two turns when you could be aggressing on turn two or even turn one if you haven't have an explosive enough start. And I think that's the that's the fact that I underestimated, and I think even damage output aside, you have such a an advantage in terms of aggression right like you were able to do so much so quickly, as opposed to having to spend at least one turn using altered creation. You know, if you happen to do some energy, which, craziness, that's still a turn where you're doing are you know, our infamous catchphrase of like sticking in ATP in the active and hoping it doesn't die. You're there. Yeah, add you know grant. I think ATP is less likely to die instantly now than it was then. But I think the flip side of that is like there's still there's now guaranteed gust with boss's orders, which was basically lacking. Besides great catcher. Before you have a lot of sniping. Now you have Dragon Pole, and the damage output becomes less relevant because you're either dealing with very squishy decks that you'll want shot anyway or very tanky decks that you won't one shot anyway. Yeah, the I mean it's just it's really a very cool case study in prize trading where the Zash and deck. You're right, there are decks that you know, p Kuram is a great example. It doesn't one shot of Pik Rom, but it doesn't necessarily need to, because the way that pe Kurama is constructed, it really relies on having the support pokemon like Todenn a and like the and like the zero aura right to just facilitate their strategy. And so you could literally win in two turns against that deck most of the time, you know, assuming that they play at Dedenn a in a or two todenn A and a zero aura and you know, whatever combination there, you could literally win the game without ever attacking into their main attackers, and that to me is just the you know, it's a it's a massive strength of the deck. It's a massive strength of the deck where you can just you can scoot around whatever they're trying to set up. And then the other thing too, is like you look at Blis Cephalon will you have the perfect counter to a Blis Cephalon deck with your Tappoofini that does exactly the same thing. And then you're forcing them to hit into a one prizer, thereby forcing them to take seven prizes, and that's more than enough time to get all your stuff set up. And then you look at a deck like Spear Tomb, same kind of idea. Of course you struggle a little bit more because they do have that one shot potential. And then drag a pault. I mean you're just trading, you know, you're trading two shots, but your two shot gives you four prizes and their two shot gives you to write. And so it's just a very interesting case study, like I said, in that prize trading and kind of setting your board position so that you can take advantage of the just pokemon that your opponent has out. It doesn't have to be their main attacker, like just sniping their bench for two prizes or three prizes whatever. You can go around their main strategy entirely and still win the game, which is while. Yeah, and I would say even taking that further, like against deck such as...

Peak Ram, the price trade works out in such a way where you can actually afford to two shot one of the tag teams because then once you get that one shot on the dedne for the extra prize, that's still game, you know, and that's three attacks where peak rom basically it's impossible for peak ram to Oko you three times. And so right you have that advantage where you can tank one hit from peak Ram, Ko the PE K ram or you know where, take the hit, whatever in that process that is, and then Ko one support pokemon. So it's just it builds up a lot of really interesting scenarios and I think that's a that's a cool way to phrase it. Is Like it's an interesting case study into how price trade factors into like a dex viability, and so I definitely recommend picking this deck up. It's very strong. It has solidified itself as one of the best decks in the format, if not be best deck in the format, and it's Super Fun to play, and I'll even say this, I think it's a good deck to learn the game on because it teaches you a lot about sequensidering, about price trade and sure you know. And one of the thing, yeah, when one of the things that I've been seeing to on the ladders just that a people don't know how to play and be people don't know how to play against it. I think those are both very, very you know, just important things to know, like resource conservation is very important with the deck. Right. If you only have one scoop up net left, you really need to decide, you know, what you're going to use it on, assuming you know it's various factors. If you end up discarding a Mr Mime early, which is very reasonable to do, then maybe you have to scoop up your mind that you had already played down or something like this. I mean there's just a lot of little intricacies to the deck that are very cool that I think a lot of players would miss on the first go around and that I've definitely seen players miss on the first go around when I've been playing them on the little ladder. So really interesting deck, I think. Moving on to some of the other decks that were very viable, peak ram below cephalon was somewhat viable and I think dragon polt was just a very strong choice for the metagame. We also saw a an ultimate mew two but piloted by Ilia Kornilov, get sixth place, which was pretty wild. And then a deck that I'm not very excited about but did perform fairly well, as the spirit tum deck. I was not really excited about the dragon pult matchup and just kind of the the one priziness. And there's the inconsistencies of a few reasons that I don't love dragon pole or spirit tomb, but it did pretty well overall on the day. There and qualifier for yeah, I think at a lot of these decks are ones that we discussed and you can check back on some of our recent episodes to see are more in depth opinion on these. I think the only thing that really sticks out to me is something maybe worth calling out, is the crushing hammers build dragged Boul kind of moving into the spotlight as the premier way to play the deck. I asked someone tow who plays a lot of dragon pole and is very fond of the deck. What are your thoughts on this build. Well, that was what I was going to play heading into the evening, like after I'd finished stream and I had to try to make this choice between well, do I play both Cyphon or do play Dragon Paul? I was really leaning towards Dragon Poult and just thinking that the crushing hammers were very viable, particularly for the mirror. I would say that's the most important matchup that you need the hammers for, but also against ADP. You know, if if you ever face that deck and then it does have some pretty solid viability against the zation right, yeah, and so and I guess some limited use in peak a Ram, but they just accelerate and get energy back in a pretty insane way. But yeah, it was really important, I think, for the deck because you just need to slow your opponent. It's down to your speed. If you can do that, then you have a pretty solid chance and that's why I think the stamp plant Combo, like we were talking about last week, is very strong for the deck, just because at the late game, you know you've already fed them a few prizes probably at this point, but if you can stamp plant them into the right hand or they're wrong hand, then you can usually overcome them with picking off their pivots and just hitting into their main attacker. Yeah, yeah, definitely it was. It was cool to see that builds the success. Ktron obviously played the Zambas and to V, which you are out of the loop on that. That was that was a joke. It was a bet amongst his friends. So if you see that, I wonder why it's there. It's not some mysterious like mirror attack or anything like that. It is just a joke. Cool. Yeah, I think lettle list, thank you so much for these events. These were awesome. I really hope that we get to see more events on this scale going into the future...

...and Pokemon, even when events start happening again in real life. I would love to see more stuff like this. Yeah, and I think there have been a lot of grass roots tournaments that have popped up as the limitless has kind of proven itself to work and that there would be interest in online tournaments. I think we're starting to see as well, or consistently have been seeing over the last month, just these other grass roots tournaments that are drawing pretty viable crowds for people that just want to play the game more, and so that's really exciting and encouraging that our game is I don't know if I I mean, yeah, you know what, let's just say our game is thriving even in this covid nineteen crisis, and that's very, very encouraging to see it really is. It really is, and so I think that's a great segue then into our next topic, which is the Players Cup. I know there's been a lot of swirl around the Players Cup and, yeah, you know what it represents and we talked about this lightly last week and you know the systems that go into play here. Yeah, so I think let's start at the highest level as well. Recently posted a video going over some of his grievances with the Players Cup and I think it resonated with a lot of people as far as the points that he was trying to drive home, and I think since then there's even been more things that come up, the first one being the ticket threshold, and this is something that we talked about just last week and we wished it didn't work out the way that it did. Yeah, well, I was hopeful. You know, I was looking at some of the other things that have happened in online tournaments or even happen within the umbrella of Pokemon as a whole, and I was saying, okay, pokemon trading card game has historically been pretty late with their information, and I would say that no one would really disagree that. They kind of tend to either parcel out things or wait until, you know, very late in the game to announce big changes or big updates or things like this. And so I was last week very hopeful that something would come out or that the system would just be updated without us knowing where. I would say, okay, you can participate in, you know, x number of tournaments a day. That's all you get. You know, maybe put a cap on it and then everyone gets, you know, free entry or, you know, their ten tickets a day or whatever it is, making it so that the playing field is even for everyone. Obviously, that didn't happen and it's now we're trying to figure out where do we go and what is this tournament even mean if not everyone has an equal chance to participate in and I think, like you said, as Wull did a very nice job. I I'll be it a bit harsh for my taste, but he did. He did a nice job of kind of crystallizing and formulating a lot of the opinions that a lot of players have and I think since his videos come out, I feel like there's been a stronger emotional discussion about what it means to play in an event like this, and it's I I mean it's missed the mark. Now that we know the full extent. It's definitely miss the mark, you know, of where tournament like this should be and could be. Yeah, so to go over kind of what that looks like for the viewers who might not be necessarily in the loop. As far as the players, Cup Pokemon is going to be compiling the top x amount of players for region in America is the top to fifty six on tournament rep which is a relatively arbitrary score based on your performance in Tcg online tournaments, just those little events that you get through the event tab when you hit play. And the flaw of this comes in how you enter those tournaments in the first place. The tournaments give tradable packs as prizes and so your entry is gated to those tournaments because it's kind of your way to recoup like real, real packs as opposed to like store bought ones in the game. So there's a huge incentive to play in them, win a new set release, right, and so you're incentivized to play in them, but they're your entry is limited, you know, by those tickets that you get, and tickets are relatively hard to get, at least compared to some of the other resources you might get in the game, like coins. It take cost actually eat tickets to enter a tournament, which is a substantial amount, and to actually climb this leaderboard, because it's only based on your total number of entries. For the most part, even if you lose and mediately in the tournament, you get tournament wrapped. The whole system of...

...ranking is basically based on how many tournaments you play. And granted, you accelerate your climb through the leaderboard by performing well, but you could have you know, you could just as effectively, if you have eight times as many tickets, just immediately drop out of every single tournament and get as many as people who did first in, you know, that many tournaments as well. Right. So the whole system is just kind of messed up. It's very much gated because a lot of players have expended their tickets doing just normal in game activity with no prior knowledge I. You know, JW and other streamers like to participate in tournaments as well, just as a means to connect with their viewers. I myself like to use the tournaments as a means to get new packs. I actually do have a decent stockpile right now, but that's besides the point. I Caleb getemer participate in a ton of tournaments to use like six hundred tickets. It's that way he could acquire like legacy collection stuff, which is like a niche format and TCG. Oh, it's just it's tough. It's tough. Yeah, and I doues. So there's not like a great path to fixing it from here either, because now we're deep enough in. You know, grant it's only couple days, but we're in the midst of it now, and so you can't just change the rules now, right. That's the biggest issue. Is that. I just I wonder if, if anything would have been said, if it would have changed it, because I think now we're seeing that a lot of opinions are coming out and a lot of people are very openly saying that they despise the way that the tournament is being run right now, and I wonder if you know? Probably not, probably not, but I wonder if you know more harsher criticism was said that things might have been different, although I think there was. I mean I think there was enough warning, right. I think there was enough warning coming from, you know, the the higher ups in the content creation game, to kind of say Whoa they're, you know, pokemon. Maybe this should be thought out a little bit differently. You know, here's some ideas that you can take from us as to what we'd like to see. But, you know, it didn't happen. I think a lot of people are going to be upset and there's just going to be a lot of gatekeeping, like you said. It's just sad for a company that does, you know, promote this inclusivity and this kind of togetherness. You know, we're all in this together, that people just literally there are many, many, many top tier players that had, will will have, no prayer to make it into this, you know, tournament. This hope, I what I would hope that they view is prestigious. They just have no way to get in. Yeah, and even digging deeper into it, people were looking at the systems that are used on these leader boards and there's a huge amount of country as that are just excluded from being able to participate in this leader board, particularly in the Oceania regions. Countries such as, you know, Malaysia and Singapore just aren't on the leader boards and they are specifically excluded. And, you know, granted, my interpretation of that is it probably has something to do with like, you know, online gaming laws or restrictions. I don't know for sure, but the fact of the matter is, you know, even even if someone in Malaysia had infinite time to acquire all the tickets in the world, you know, they started from zero tickets but just grinded their way into a million of them, they still couldn't make it into the tournament, no matter what they did. It's it's absurd. You know, it's tough and it makes it demoralizing the play because, like, there's obviously a great reward on the line with the travel reward. That's basically the most prestigious award that you can get. And pokemon as far as like getting those stipends two events, and not just the stipend but the full trip. Sure, and but what's the point, like, what is the actual competitive value of this tournament if, if there so many people. D depture is playing. Yeah, it'll be very interesting to see how this progresses. But, like we said, the competitive player base is really soured on and the tournament as a whole. And I I'm generally not going to be as negative as some and and not. I mean, and that's I hope that's not feeling like people are being thrown under the bus. When I say that negative, I mean I just generally like to think that Pokemon, I want to hope that there was some reason that it came out like this. I want to hope that there was something that prevented them from doing it another way or from implementing the systems that they needed to. I appreciate the idea and the concept,...

I really do. I think that in all of this that aspect is being undercut a little bit by kind of the missteps that have been made, but I do really appreciate Pokemon for putting this event on. I wish it was different. Yeah, and going back to your point about the underlying concepts, I think you're right, like having an online tournament is a fantastic idea and we've seen it done to great success. Jeff, in the last month you know. So where's the disconnect? I think it lives in Pokemon is using an outdated structure on their client. This is something we've covered in it feels like a dozen episodes now, at least a half, doesn't you know? The TCGEO client needs some revamping. They're sticking themselves in this system that just isn't compatible with the modern structure of how a trading card game should look on online client and it it's ultimately limiting them long term. I think so. I think so. It would be. I don't know if there's any way we could study this, but just it would be interesting to know kind of the retention rate of players in this time because they had just you know, you never want to say that with this this crisis, is this health crisis, that it would be a golden opportunity for for improvement, but it does feel that way in a sense. I just wonder how many more people could have been involved with the game and how many more like new faces we maybe could have engaged through this online series that maybe transition over into in real life playing that we just never would have known about before. I do think that there are going to be those people that we just have never heard about before and they're going to show up a top you know, in the top four right, because they're good players and they had a ton of tournament tickets, but they never went to like a regionals or anything like that. They never played cards in real life. They just always play the ladder. I think we're going to find some of those people out there. That will be kind of interesting. You know, I'm personally excited to, you know, see those people. That would be kind of funny if you know some person we've literally never heard of just wins the whole thing would be pretty interesting and kind of cool and, you know, certainly would be a story. But yeah, it's just a few, a few little miss steps that I think are preventing us from really truly grasping on to it as a community and taking it for for the successful will event it. It could have been right, and so what I hope is to take away from this, both for the listeners and, you know, Pokemon Company, is that, you know, we had online tournaments are something that we can do and that the community clearly desires, and I think that expands beyond our world health crisis. I think online structured events would be something that would get a lot of attention, regardless of if people were self quarantining. I have truly believe that. And so how can we as a not only as a community, but, you know, how can pokemon take a look at what has been done, reflect on that and build upon it in the future? And maybe for Pokemon that involves like an actual structure being put in place on their client. And you know, if they're hesitant to, you know, run a large scale tournament without the structure in place on that client, that's just something that needs to happen and that's row block that they need to overcome. But regardless, like what steps need to be taken to move into it an actual competitive online realm, and you know, to me that that looks like having a rank ladder. That looks like having actual tournaments that you can build out and run inside the client. And I hope that this is the wakeup call that this is something the community really wants and would do, you know, and not just as something that we're interested in, but would certainly make pokemon lots of money, because certainly more people would be interested in participating in the online client. That's right. I mean there are there are ways to do it. I mean, I just look at with all my time that I've invested in Pokemon go and just to say, like, how cool would it be to have an INAPP purchase area? I know that wouldn't that also would not be the way I would want to go with it, but just to provide an example of a case where, you know, they have an INAPP purchase system that clearly, you know, transcends like the product of the putting out like it's clearly bigger, makes them just just a lot of money there. And how cool it it be to have something like that in our game? And how cool would it be to have just these other systems that pokemon is implemented throughout their branding, throughout their umbrella, and hopefully we'll get that. I mean we've been praying for this years. I played this game for ten years and I am still waiting for some of these. They seem like the minors thing.

I'm leading with. POKEMON. Please help us as players, help us as content creators. I have still faith. I still have faith. I believe in you, pokemon. I believe in you. I believe you want to help us, I believe you love us. But ever year they just feels like one thing after the other. You know, I can just go back through the years failed and this is the latest example. But I still love pokemon really, I still love the company, still love everything. I just I just wish it was a little better. Yeah, no, I agree, man. I I've been a little less interested in tcgo lately compared to normal, and I feel like if there was just a ranked ladder that I could grind and see myself at the top of the I would be playing so much it would be insane. I would be so hype about that. Yeah, it's just I've played that nonstop. Oh Yeah, if I really people like all day they can. You would just be so fun if I could see that I was better than you. Right, actually, though, right, like being able to climb is such a fun experience. That's what that's at the core of what makes so many of these online games so successful, right, is they not? Even the online games, bro like, look at the look at the hand held game, like the game boy game. Bro Like, you're trying to be the champ. That's the whole driving stuffy line of every pokemon game. Like you can't finish a game unless you're the champ. So please, so true. Give us that so true. I don't. I feel like we cannot possibly emphasize enough how much we want to see the online experience for Pokmon trading card game be better. It's something I'm certainly passionate about. Jake, he's passionate about I think all content creators are probably passionate about this, because it's literally a huge facet of our lives. This is playing this game. So there's some chaos going. On the hand, I think, Oh, yeah, I don't know, somebody, somebody just did something crazy. I don't know, but you know, we still love the game, but we would love to see it be better and love it more. Yeah, yeah, we exactly that. That's well point. We love the game, you know, great game mechanics wise, for sure. Generally, you know, we're just we're happy that there are at least I'm happy. I generally take that positive at it, like I'm happy that there's something that we can use, but always going to be ways for improvement, and I think that just holds true just generally speaking, like in my personal life, like I'm happy where I'm at. I can always be better, and so yeah, hoping that that it gets better. And hoping that we can just have these dialogs and maybe someone will listen and maybe we will get the change that we would like to see. Absolutely so I think we've covered a huge Friday. So I've been stucked about decks. We've talked about the players cop and its flaws. Personally, I think you can kind of play whatever you want if you're in the players cut. Just half fun with it. I think it's more about the quantities and the quality of the events that you play in. So if I had to make any recommendation, I would just say pick a deck that can win relatively quickly and yeah, so, yeah, there you. So that's all. That's really all I have as far as recommendations. We Abou love to open the floor to you all if you have a couple questions that you'd like to pose before we wrap up for the day. I think there's a lot of interesting discussion that we've had so far and if anyone wants to expand on any of that, we had loved chat to call some of that out. Perhaps you fan was talking about when I was discussing peak ram about adding anything for the blounds matchup, or just take it as a rough matchup. And Yeah, I was playing a few games the night before quarter for with Andrew Mahone and we were playing the blounds against Pe Kurram matchup, and it just felt almost as as irredeemable of a matchup as one could face. And I mean the the closest thing you could come to a tech for that matchup that has been played in the past is like an apps all, but that doesn't quite work if the blow cephalon player doesn't play scoop, doesn't play the eskateboard instead, just play scoop up nets, which I think a lot have trended towards now, and so that just completely nullifies the apps all play. And then if they play, you know, and then the blonds can just hard tech for P K ram by just playing a mew, and then that just really in ensures the victory. I mean you can do other things, I suppose, like multiple Phoenis,...

...multiple taboo pheny, but even at that point, like all they really need is one great catcher, I feel like, and they can swing the prize trade. So it's definitely a rough match if you really just have to hope that they did draw for that one. Yeah, for sure. Damn or x says. Love to hear your thoughts on the DF and why you think that is. Well, what do you think, Riley? I think there's a couple decks that are clearly more powerful than the rest. I think the sash and Combo deck. I don't want to necessarily say it's The v Da F in such a way that's like clearly better than every other deck, but I think that deck is insane. I would put it, put that deck peak Ram and maybe drag aful in like that one tier of the best decks. I think JW might lean a little more towards Josh and being like the actual best. I'm a little more nebulous on my choice right now. HMM. Yeah, I definitely think that those Ashen Combo deck from just what I've seen of it, from the limitless qualifier and then everything that I've played with it. It's just felt very consistent. I mean I think we talked about last week the intangibles of a deck like Dragon Poult and I think xastion has those intangibles as well. Just the things of being able to accelerate the prize trade. You know you only need two turns to win, and certain decks which is just kind of wild, like you only need two attacks to win if they drop it to Denne and they have a you know V or something that you can kill or you know whatever. It is, like you only need two turns. That's insane and has that kind of raw draw power. That's really nice to see that. You know, obviously atpsation decks had in the past, but just is, you know, kind of almost amplified more here in this case and it just has exact numbers on certain thing. You know, it has enough damage, enough numbers for the right price that it all works together in harmony to form this really, really strong I wouldn't say that it's that it's, you know, headed shoulders above the way that ATP was in past formats, but I would say that it is the stire deck that is it's, in my opinion, you know, very difficult to counter, unless you're playing a straight fire deck or something like Obstacleon, which are just like bad against a lot of every of other things and only really good against that one deck. And then those can be countered too by you know, metal frying pan and a thakes like that. But you know, it's just so impossible to counter from my perspective, and then Pekuram, bull a Cephalon and drag a Paul kind of occupy that Tier One metagame that you know have a decent shot against the Zatian deck but are all kind of struggling with, you know, each other, in the tears lower to Um, you know, to succeed in a tournament, for sure. Yeah, I think it's a great way to put it. Cash man, asking an there's any point of going the ATPS option route when the ASH GERACI has been proven so effective. I think we touched on this a lot earlier. I think, to delve into more specifics, the Geroshi route is just so streamlined and consistent and more aggressive, and I think that's going to benefit it more in this Meta than the ATP effect necessarily will. The only case I could see like ATP really serving You well is if you're in, like you too heavy metas or something, where you know getting that to hundred and seventy will just win you the game. Sure, sure, I mean just think about the prize exchanges, though. With ATP YOU HAVE TO WAIT for turns. I mean sometimes you can get an energy switched like Combo off, but with ATP generally, traditionally, you know you're waiting for turns, right, you have your first turn attachment, your second turn attachment and attack and then presumably to attacks finish the game. But sometimes that gets really awkward. If they have a one prize attacker. On average, you know you're spending like four turns and then potentially more, depending on what your point it can bring up. Yeah, but then with this Asian deck you have, like I said that that to you could you could literally win the game in two attacks, two turns. Yeah, two turns, right, two turns, and so that is just where that that differs. Right, the two decks differ in that one it is very consistent with that four turn clock, but the other one has the potential to do it in two turns. What ATP could do it for? Right, right, and the point that I would just keep coming back to is like the what made ATP really work was it cleaned up the math on the tag teams, and I did. That's isn't as necessary in the current metagame. Yeah, and that's a good point too. You're looking at the metagame right now and the v Max's are just out of range. ATP or not, they're just out of range. So that makes that math kind of negligible. You have things like Peka Ram, which that's maybe your one...

...where you wish that you had an ATP attack, but not super necessary because they play those are oars and those de Dente's on the bench, thereby making it so you can gust around their main attacker. And then you have the rise of the Non Gi's attackers. So things like spiritumb, things like Welli Ceplon, really kind of round out the upper tier decks, viable decks in this format, and so those are just it. You know, you're one shotting them with a very average amount of damage anyway that you get by with having the two towel and actually, I would say against those decks it's probably better to have the Combo because you're right not going to have to spend two turns preparing, which is exactly what the one prized decks want, right, right, because they also sometimes need those extra turns to prepare, especially like baby of the stuff pawn. I like against baby stuff on in particular, you have a pretty clear route where you can combot twice and then Ko or Ra Choreo and he win, and that's as faster faster than they can win the game. Right. We got a steven says, Hey, guys, I've been lurking in the background while cleaning dishes. Well, I'm glad you are very sanitary man, Steven. Just wondering if either you can give any hope to stage two's becoming more viable anytime soon. Played some myself recently and while I was of fun, they just get bodied and I would say the Bible stage to right now is obstacleon. I don't see that they're being too many others. I think there are some rogue concepts, things like dust stocks, I mean dust os as a stage too. That has very, very limited viability. But just there aren't enough stage twos that can achieve any sort of like massive pressure on the opponent. You could look to something like a chandelour deck, but unfortunately again you're plagued by these inconsistency issues in the stage two and so obstacleon only really works because it puts on such a hard lock against certain decks that that just immediately makes a viable and then, yeah, I haven't I haven't really seen many stage two's work out that well. We have grimm snarl in the chat here. Things like drag a poult the non vmax I've seen on the ladder doesn't really feel that great. But Riley, maybe you have more thoughts on stage two's think stage twos are in a honestly, a pretty bad spot right now. There's just like not a not a ton going for them right like they they have kind of low HP. Honestly, they're relatively will have expensive attack costs and are hard to set up. It's unfortunate. I think the most recent time when stage twos had any sort of metagame presence was either like in the nine tails decks in lost thunder or in, you know, the early sun and moon days, when you have like guard of R GX and deciduogs running the show. I think, without giving stage two's like in equalizer and power level, and I think obstacle is probably the closest thing to that, where it like hard locks decks without getting it. Something like that the stage twos, unfortunately, I just don't think our viable the way that the game is currently built and played. Yeah, so it's unfortunate. I think to with the level of effort it takes to get out of Stage two, you have to really be able to break the game when you get it out. Yeah, it has to do something very strong for it to matter. And so when will they be viable? I mean we're we are looking ahead to, you know, at some point in the future, like a rotation where we will lose a significant amount of these, you know, just insanely strong basic attackers. And so perhaps, as the format shifts more towards these v Max has, that also are evolutions that also afford your deck, you know, a turn or two to set up as well. Maybe then the stage two's will be more viable. Right. And I think Pokemon, you know, I think generally basics will always be the resounding decks. With the way that, you know, the game is built right now and like designed, I think pokemon tends to shift around. You know, our stage ones viable attacking options. Are Stage two's even playable? Yeah, I think we're kind of an era right now. Or stage ones are are like the premiere or what they pokemon is gearing towards being different. Your way to play, like tag teams were definitely a move towards basics. v Max is are moved towards stage one. Ask things. Yeah, and I mean May and it might be some grand, you know strategy that we just don't quite know yet, because, I mean, we are seeing very, very viable evolutions in the form of v Maxs, and so it...

...might be something where we've gone from this basic Meta to this you know, potential stage one Meta to potentially, you know, a stage to focus metagame in just the card design that I'm not you know, I have no inside information on this, but just you know, he kind of look historically, it's like the VA axes will take over at some point. You know, they they're already almost arguably taken over at this point, and the former dragon bolt be Max just being a very high tier deck, and so, you know, just looking into the future, I would expect things to come back around because we've had in the past, you know, where stage twos were like almost the only decks that you could play and then moving into a basic MEDO and so on and so forth with like SPS. I would say it was the real kind of turning point where it was stage twos and Guardabor Galle ad against sp stuff and and then, you know, moving on from that and now it's basic and then we stage ones and then maybe in the future stage two so hoping that they come back. Yeah, I would love to see stage twos have have their next heyday. I think they deserve it to me. To me, like the stage one and two's are more representative, I guess, of like what Pokemon is then, just having big basics ram at each other. Yeah, it's like evolution, man, it's like it's pokemon. That's right, but so true. You know, unfortunately we don't have a hand in the designer pool to be able to say that. Not yet, not yet. Yeah. Well, everyone, this has been an awesome episode. Thank you all so much for listening. We really appreciate every single one of you. Be sure to check out some of the movements that we will be linking in the description of the podcast and the Youtube video. It's that way you can continue to contribute in positive ways to our communities. Thank you so much everyone, and we'll see you next time. Peace. Do You.

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