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Tag Team Pokemon TCG Podcast
Tag Team Pokemon TCG Podcast

Season 5, Episode 2 · 2 months ago

5-2. Baltimore and More

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

The boys are back and ready to digest the drama from Baltimore. Boy oh boy is there a lot to be said. Plus we get to look ahead to what's to come in Peoria! Times are exciting, be sure to check it out.

Tag Team is brought to you by MANSCAPED! Use code TAGTEAM at checkout for 20% off and free shipping.

Yo, what is up, guys? Welcome back to tag team, the POKEMON trading card games premier podcasting duo. My name is Riley Holbert, joined as always by my good friend Mr JW Creewall, on location this week. JW, how's it going? It's going great. I am still on paternity leave and we decided to go up to my parents house. They have a property up in the thumb of Michigan, little town called Port Hope. We went to the breakfast place today. There is only one place in town that serves breakfast, but quite nice, quite a pleasant experience, and then we toured the town, which was Um walking down main street to ship out a couple of shirts at the post office and then going to one of their historical society repositories to check out some of the wares. Very, very nice. Sounds like you've been up to plenty of stuff during your praternity leave. Oh Yeah, I took a dip in the lake yesterday. That was very chilly but nice. We have, let's see, on the agenda. TOMORROW WE'RE gonna go into a town called bad acts and do some thrift Ng. So it's it's it's just, man. It doesn't get boring around here. Very, very nice. I'm happy that you're enjoying your time off. Yeah, it's been really nice. I'm just like, I'm dreading. You know, every hour is one hour that's closer to no vacation. and honestly, the last month has been pretty good. Baby is starting to crawl, so that's pretty cute and she's I don't know, she's just smiling and everything. It's really nice. So it's it's been a good paternity leave to hang out with her and I'm dreading, well, not dreading, but you know what I mean, the vacation. The vacation ends right. It's it's not some much that you're dreading going back to work. It's like, Oh man, well now I can't just lay around and eat key lime pie and if you look at the lake and you know, just go drifting and chill. So anyway, how are you? How's it going? Riley? It's going well. It's going well. After a busy couple of weeks, I feel like my life is back in order, so that's very nice. Going to a wedding this weekend, which will be fun. And Yeah, I'm I'm feeling good, man. I'm feeling good and I'm not on the lake and e key Lime Pie, but you know, we make do with weal. I've been trying to get people to come up here for a while because it would be a really nice hangout spot. My parents just renovated their house up here and it's very open. It's got a lot of beds, it's got a lot of amenities, so it would be like, Oh man, you know, that'd be really fun if you know the homies. Everyone to take a vacation to small town America. But you know, maybe next year, maybe next year. Yeah, I'm running out of vacation days for this year. Dude. Tell me about it, bro so well, we got lots of stuff to talk about today, but I think first and foremost we should go ahead and plug again that we do have the tag team merche available at Flex Daddy Dot card slash shop. The shirts are super awesome. G W and I both love them. I'm really excited about the design. I we put a lot of time into crafting the vision for it and senior doom executed perfectly. So make sure check out Zachar on twitter as well, if you haven't already. Does awesome stuff, and make sure check out the shirts get, you can get them picked up for Peoria if you're looking to rock the red. Yeah, absolutely, that would help me out a lot actually. I mean we you know, we ship them anywhere. We're worldwide shipping. But if you're coming to Peoria and you want to get your shirt and maybe you know, maybe you want to signed or maybe you just that hand delivered with the...

...hand touch, just hit me up flex daty, dot card slash shop. We've had a number of orders. Yeah, again, a ship and some out ships amount today. So pretty cool. Thank you to everybody that's already purchased a shirt and if you'd still like a shirt, be sure to get over there flex dadty dot cards slash shop. Awesome. So let's dive right in then. So in the front half of this episode we're gonna do a digest of some of the recent events in the POKEMON trading card game. Won't focus as much on the Meta game of Baltimore because that is now a dead Meta game, so to speak. It's behind us as we look ahead to Peoria, but we will go ahead and talk about some of the outcomes from Baltimore and then the back half we'll talk about Peoria and lost origins and some of our more developed opinions about the format. Absolutely. First we should give a massive congratulations the Pipelin Pine for her victory in Baltimore. Congratulate Nations to Piper. What a win with their archaeus intellian or excuse me there, they're Intellian chars. Are Deck obviously super good. Pick Piper piloted it amazingly, as you could have seen if you had watched any of her stream games. She really just mastered that deck. Piper has been on an absolute tear since she became a master post return from covid and it's really awesome to see her pick up a win. Yeah, I mean those stream games, masterclass and how to play that deck. Sadly, were I didn't that format anymore because I think, you know, going forward, we were both saying it's kind of funny on the cast. We were both like, well, this would be the best deck we think heading into that Meta game, and then mew would probably be second best. And Hey, look what happened? Are Intellian chars are got first and literally the best you got second. That's that's really funny. So you know, if you're listening to this cast and you're trying to like divine knowledge from us. I mean, I think we got some good stuff going on here, but yeah, it's is a huge win. Those stream matches were amazing, just great displays of kind of the intricacies of that deck and the intricacies of the POKEMON trading card game. And again, congratulations piper. Really big win and hopefully she'll be able to continue that success moving forward. Absolutely so. However, that was not the only thing that happened in Baltimore this past weekend. We did have multiple allegations of cheating in Baltimore, some with some fairly notable players. Isaiah Bradner caught in the crossfire, so to speak, with accusation of Palming a card from this card pile. We also had an instance on stream where a new player did not really shuffle their deck at all after a road of phone and drew back into the other card from the road. Yeah, that that one. They were both very unusual. Let's talk about themw player first and they're kind of overhanded shuffle. Well, it was super you. Yeah, no, it just just you look at the shuffle that he did from the road and phone and it's just very obvious it's like when you when you're doing it, maybe like you're an amateur magician and you're trying to keep the top card at the top, like that's what it seemed, where it's like he kind of put things together but then like didn't finish the process of mashing the cards and then so the top card just stayed at the top. and Uh so the idea for him was that, you know, he could keep the card that he wanted at the top, uh and then put the you know, drawing to it off the Geno sector. It was just a very unusual shuffle and it was just so it was so unusual because it contrasted with some of the other shuffles that he had throughout the match. It was very out of place. Maybe the weirdest part, to be in addition to just how obvious it was that the top card was intending to stay on top, was the it was only like three fake bashes, you know, like that's already an unacceptably low amount of...

Bash Shuffles, combined with the fact that the method of mashing was it wasn't there. There was no it was just like intending to keep a car in a certain location and if you weren't intending that. What the heck happened? Well, and I always say like, if you are bold enough two do something like that on stream, on stream, on stream, on an official Pokemon Street, I mean, if you're bold enough to do something like that, man, just what happens on the tables? What happens on the table? You know, and you know, and I don't want to say, I don't want to like ever incriminate people that haven't Um, you know, that haven't been caught. Right, I'm not out here trying to just do hearsay. You know. That's not we're not trying to drum up any drama like it. Literally, it's cheating, Dude. Like it's on the tape, man, like no one. You can't really argue it. Right, it's on the tape, and so that. It's just it. But it makes you wonder, doesn't it? where, if they're going to do something like that, if they're going to exploit the rules like that on a stream match, what would they be willing to do to a newer player not on stream, the lengths that they would go? I mean that's not you know, you could, you could do a lot worse of a cheat. I think than than what he did. But you know, that's a whole another topic entirely. But yeah, crazy, crazy stuff, man, crazy stuff coming out of Baltimore. So there's that new event and then we also have, I mean the more the more notable one. There there were actually two potential one potential instance and then one Um streamed instance of of cheating by Isaiah Brandner from Baltimore. Yeah, so Isaiah had two stories following him in back to back rounds, which also isn't a great look. Um, in one of his round I think it was round three and four. In round three, Isaiah was playing against Joey Rojas. Joey has been a long time player in the game and actually, throwback, Joey was the player who caught Jao Jiao back in eighteen uh with the GRENA in the lab. Wow, I didn't. I didn't even connect those two. Yeah, so joey had played against Isaiah in round three of Baltimore and, granted, this is all hearsay at this point, like there's no footage, obviously, of this event, in the same way there is with the with the new player. We'll see, we'll C by a with that, but I think Joey's incredible source, as far as we're aware at least. So Joey played against Isaiah and, looking through the discard pile, noticed that Isaiah did not have to Rita in the discard pile, despite playing them on two prior turns. They both like walked through the turns and agree that to Arita should be in the discard pile. And Isaiah allegedly does something that I think was really, really strange, in a big red flag to anybody who's listening. You should consider this the red flag where he said, Oh, you know, why don't we just like search through the deck and throwing a Rita into discard pile from there. To me, that was like the shadiest part of the whole story. was like that is not the solution. No, like under even like of a judge card right, like there are some times where I've I've seen players where they're like, Oh, I you know, Um, what, I don't know. Look at the car look at the top card right and like you know there's some situation where it's the low stakes or whatever, you can just show it to your opponent. You keep it on top right, like that's what a judge would do? Would they come over, you know, issue a warning, they show you the top card, whatever, but to do something that's not even kind of remotely close to what would happen we're a judge, to come over is just well, I just think in general, like regardless, like not even like focusing on the specific action Isaiah, just despite...

...the fact that specific one is very shady. I think just trying to like almost appeal to the person in the moment to fix the situation. It's never a great look, you know, like I'm gonna do this crazy random thing just to make this go away. Is Kind of how it reads to mere Um. So anyway, he offers to discard and the reader from the deck, Joey Says No, it doesn't make sense. Uh, do you have to read it in your hand? And I say it does. Admit that he does. Um, and Joey says okay, you know, how did it get their type of situation, and you know, back and forth happens. Joey eventually says, I'm not going to call a judge on this. Put it in the discard pile. We'll call it a day. Um. Isaiah does that and that's kind of the end of that saga. No judge was ultimately called, which I think was a big mistake on Joey's part. I feel like if you're unsure of a game state to this degree, it's just the right thing to do. Um, regardless though, accusations of of palming a a reader from the discard pile. In the following round, Isaiah played on stream against Sandra Parral. Friends known each other for a long time, and this one, I think, is perhaps more easily explained away, but that doesn't mean it was okay. And that was Isaiah played in Arita. He grabbed a water pokemon in the item and then he put the water pokemon backed and grabbed two items put them both into his hand. Um starts playing some of those cards. Xander, realizing that something was amiss, asked Isaiah what two cards he had gotten off Areta, and this is the part where it gets shady again to me, is Isaiah showed the Palky of the star that was already in his hand and one of the items that he got from Arita. So, regardless of if that was intentional, Isaiah lied there right and he also effectively lied in the prior round about the game state. So it's just isn't a good display of character at the very least. Yeah, yeah, I mean, you know one one story is hearsay right, like we'll never truly know because it wasn't caught on camera. But Um, for for Isaiah, similar to to Jeremy's, uh, the MEW v Max players, Jeremy Gamilla's play on stream, we have that footage. We can look back and we can maybe not determine intent outright, because you can never, I don't think you can ever truly determine the intent. Um, but it it just doesn't look good right from from you know, as the player that's taking the actions. You know, he I just I can't you know, as a person that's that's looking through the deck, through the Italian stuff. Of course, maybe maybe you go a step ahead, right, like maybe he meant to grab to grab that other card from the deck, the quickball or whatever, or else across what you're Um. But then when you're when you're kind of called out on it or just you know, questioned on it, and then too to take it that step further, you know. So so maybe the first action wasn't the cheap but then, you know, the second action, like covering up that you may be made an error. That's it's just gross man. I agree. Yeah, I totally agree. Like, let's if we give Isaiah the benefit of the doubt to say that he meant to Grabage des Aisle and then grabbed that item that he grabbed. Um, it still doesn't paint like a good picture for him, because he is an elite enough player. He's been on stream enough times where he knew that Paucio was in his hand already. He had mapped out his turn around the fact that Paucio was in his hand. So there's no question, at least in my mind, that he had some semblance of idea of what he was doing in that moment. Yea. And if he didn't, I'm surprised...

...his like prior history of results, because that's not the play off an elite book about player. If you don't know, you have a Palchy in your yeah, yeah, you're Maine attacker right. Uh. It just I uh, you know, either die here or you live long enough to see yourself become a villain right, like I really, Um, you know, admired Isaiah's results and, Um, not to say that I'm you know, will never forgive him and you know they deserve to, I don't know, be banned or anything. I don't know, it's just it's a cheat right. It's like cheat on stream right like that. I don't know, you just have to say something about that. I think the the you know, it's important to to whatever degree that people in our community can hold others accountable. I think you know on this podcast, I think just general members of the community. I mean, I think we have to write because Pokemon is not doing anything. Um, the cheats have not been caught and not really been addressed, as far as we know from the recording the podcast. So, you know, as much as we can try to keep these people accountable. It's it's really sad and again it makes you think what happens off camera. Yeah, so I think there's a couple of potential, you know, takeaways lessons for community from here. First potential takeaway is, in the wake of like Zach Cooper and now these other instances, it seems like pokemon is is a verse to taking any strong action against cheaters. For whatever reason. That does not seem to be part of their M O right now, which is really disappointing from my perspective. I mean it could be. You know, it could be the type of thing where each tournament is its own entity, right, and they're not really looking at continued, repeated abuses, right, and for Isaiah, I mean that you know this. I mean I think they do have records of that stuff. Yeah, well, yeah, but I'm not saying they're not enacting it necessarily be banned based on game. But I am saying like, clearly they're verse to taking like more extreme action, even liked q s don't seem like they're being handed out as frequently as they maybe should. Yeah, and you know who determines when a D Q should or shouldn't be handed out? That's that's kind of right. You know, that's that's regardless. My point is, like Pokemon isn't the one who's coming down as hard as they could on on nefarious conduct in the game. So it is kind of on us as a community to identify these behaviors and play the more social approach to it, where those people just simply aren't welcome in our game unless they clean up their act. Um. I think that is a fair community response to the lack of response from the game. Yeah, and, I don't know, not welcome, but just, you know, I mean we raise awareness for this kind of stuff. I'm sure we've talked a lot. We've talked a lot about you know, hey, here's how you you know, here's maybe some strategies to like prevent cheating in your individual matches, but just the more that we can get word out about, hey, you know, this happened. Just be on the on the lookout for what radio players might do. You know, hey, this is a great example, right, Um, the joey story, where it's like, okay, if your opponent ever suggests that you do something that no judge would ever suggest, then you know, maybe that seems a little fishy, like your your red flags should go right. And so, you know, just just things like that. Being able to being able to more effectively curb cheating in individual games is another thing. You know. Again, it's like, I don't want to like ostracize these people, um, but things did happen, you know, and and it's very obvious, um, that they were caught on camera again, Um, and so you know, do what do I say? Like, Oh, well, we we should socially kick them out of the community. I don't know, I don't know how will they ever get you know, Garner respect again if they're kicked out of the community, I don't know. Regardless, I think there's the second takeaway is that the...

...stuff does happen and it happens maybe more frequently than we're comfortable truly admitting, especially in you know, we've had kind of a colloquial tournament on our friend group of the six Oh stimulus package, where, you know, the concept is these people will cheat until they get to a high enough table where people start paying attention to them and then kind of lay off of it. Um and that stimulus package can ultimately get you very far, and I do think that's something that does happen. Is that opportunistic cheating when it's in the early rounds of a tournament, um or an unaware player or what have you. So all listeners out there, I would just, you know, be Vigilant Watch your opponent's actions. I know I'm guilty of this too, of kind of like zoning out during my opponent's turns at times or or just being I mean, the other frustrating thing with the way that the game is constructed right now, I feel like when I'm telling players that are like, oh, how do I prepare for regionals. I'm telling them, Hey, you gotta play really fast, and some of the things that I might say is, Hey, you gotta be mapping out your turn. Maybe on your opponent's turn you start thinking about what you need to do so that when they finished their turn you have a game planning you're not just kind of like looking at your hand for the first time. And you know, I don't know that I can really, with the full Um conviction, give that same comment anymore. Right it it feels like I need to be watching my opponent at all times on their turn, making sure that everything is played by the book. But then again, the game, like you're saying, you know, you need all those fifty minutes to complete three rounds, three games of pokemon in this current format. So it's just really Um. You know, the rules are kind of working against us in that sense as well. I think there are some things you can do, though, and this is ultimately where I'm trailing, to kind of mitigate things in the moment. First, I was just changing your methodology for how you handle your opponent's deck when it's handed to you after a shuffle. You know a lot of people say always shuffle I'm actually not necessarily of that opinion, and the reason I say that is if your opponents like really, really nefarious, they put a card in a certain position in their deck and you shuffle it, then they can cut the deck after you present it from your shuffle, so they could theoretically, like, remanipulate the deck. Um. I don't think many people would do that, but I think it would be the best practice too have some sort of non regular, semi random cadence of shuffling, cutting in different positions and even tapping occasionally. Sure, Um. The second thing I would recommend is keep track of your opponent's hand size. You should always know what your opponent's hand should be at and it is fairly reasonable to actually know what it should be at all points in the game if you're paying close attention. And the third thing is even if both, if you check both of those two boxes, you should know what's in your opponent's discard pile, at least the most important cards, and be able to notice if they're accounts of them are wrong. Yeah, I think that's another thing too, is Um, you know, just when I see people touching their discard pile. That's another like red flag like, obviously searching the discard pile is very important game game action. You know or not a game action, but it's a very important action that you can take in the POKEMON trading card game. But just anytime I see my opponent messing with their discard pile, maybe like a little too much, or certainly reorganizing their discard pile, that's a red flag for me. It's just like, Oh, my ears prick up a little bit, I'm kind of hyper aware of what's going on. So, you know, again, another thing that listeners can take from this is, yeah, discard pile awareness is huge, absolutely, and I think with some combination of those three things, staying vigilant Um and paying attention, alternating your strategy when your opponent presents their deck and paying close attention to discard pile a hand size, if you accomplish all of those you should be fairly well safeguarded against the vast majority of cheating that happens in the pokemon trading card yeah, absolutely. And then the final piece of that puzzle is just don't be afraid of Calle judge. You know, we have a lot of a lot of new listeners or listeners that maybe haven't played...

...in many regionals and you know the judges are there for a reason, so you know if the worst comes to words, you call them over. Nothing went wrong and you just clarified that your opponent had the same number of cards in hand that they did earlier in the round. You know, and it's just you make sure double check, run over some game actions, have a judge there and things can move along. So, UM, yeah, don't be afraid to call a judge. I feel like a little bit of a broken record for that one, but it's still kind of remains to be true here, is that I think a lot of issues would have been solved right, certainly some of these cases that we're talking about, if if a judge had been been called over. Absolutely to stay vigilant, folks, be on the lookout. It's up to us as individual members of the game to make sure the integrity of it is upheld truth. Last big thing before we jump into our card of the day, in pure preview, is there's been a lot of discourse state w about the CP BA are, particularly an na Um and the travel costs of N as, basically illustrating how difficult it is to realistically get an invite and the amount of money that you would need to invest into the game to realistically achieve that with average regional finishes is pretty high. You know, it's the bar last year and a lot of people weren't able to make it, especially with the the lack of cups in the second half of the season. Um G W. What are your thoughts around the CP Bar, the traveling, all that kind of fun stuff? I think that a so I think that world should be an attainable goal by someone who can go to maybe a quarter of regionals, okay, and I think it should be largely attainable through the local scene, because I think at any cut off right you're excluding people to some degree. But I think that the local player who has one game store out in the middle of Nowhere Wyoming should have a realistic chance to make the world championship, because what I would like to see at the world championship is not necessarily, Um, you know, the players that have done the best at the biggest tournaments throughout the entire season. I would rather see the players that are the best. And so it's like, well, how do you determine who's the best? You know, but the best from maybe their area, you know. So so I would like to see an invite achieved. I used to be a little bit against this, but I think the more that I think about it, you know, if you want the best players at worlds, you have to give them routes to get there, and so I would rather see the invite be entirely like, not entirely achievable off local events, but only going to, you know, maybe three to four regionals at most to be able to realistically achieve it invite and getting those kind of average finishes. You know, if you can make two regionals and then you get farm the rest off your local system, I think that's fine. You know, honestly, I'm like and I'm not the one that ultimately is the arbiter of it, but all I mean to say here is that I want the world's path to be attainable by the player that plays primarily at locals, and right now it's it's simply not. It's it's attainable by the players that travel to six, seven, eight or more regionals and internationals. Yeah, I don't know, primarily at locals is necessarily the phrasing I would use, but I do think someone who who plays in local events, goes to their regionals that are like in driving distance, so to speak, um, or short cheap flights away, should be able to get to the world championship. You know, when I think back to when I was in Colle Ledge and playing Pokemon with my friends, I had no money...

...and I was still able to go to all these things because there's a bunch of driving ones and I play my my local events and that was enough to get me a world's invite and I think, like other people, should be able to have that route. Um, the interesting thing about the discourse lately is there's been some back and forth about whether or not you should play at these events with the intent of going to worlds, and I think that's kind of interesting. But I would also say to the folks who I do think you should try and enjoy each event for his own merit, but I think realistically, like world is the carrot, right, like that is what you are trying to build up to. You know, you can enjoy each events for its own merit, but also that be the reason that you're doing them in the first place, you know, and I think that's what it is for the majority of people who play these events. Um, I mean you have these, you have the short term goal, right, of winning the Five K and you know, the cloud of winning a regional tournament, and then you have a long term goal, and I don't think that those are mutually exclusive. I totally agree and I think I think it's dismissive to say that that shouldn't be like part of your goal. Um. So where I'm at right now is, I think five a little too high, at least with locals still out of the picture. And maybe they ramp up locals hardcore and I'm surprised by how easy it ends up being. But I don't necessarily think that will be the case. I think, you know, maybe cups come back in q three or q four the season, but I don't even think it's something you can guarantee either. Um, yeah, I mean it's I would rather see more players at the world championships and have that opportunity because day one in my mind, and you know, and I think I can say this because I bombed day one many times, but day one is not really world in mind, qualifier, it's the qualifier two worlds. Okay, so if you're playing a day one like that, congratulations, you made it that far like that's great. You know, okay, you're in, you're in world's quote unquote, but the real tournament doesn't start until day two. Um, you know. And and so I would rather see that player pool increase as much as realistically possible. Now, should we, you know, hand out Um, you know, invites to any anyone that shows up to a tournament? No, I mean there should be some kind of bar. But Um, again, that bar I think, is a little bit too unattainable for us right now. And again I'd rather see it opened up. I'd rather see more players there for the day one and have to go through this insane grinder, but at least have that shot making into day two, the quote Unquote Real World Tournament, Um, and just have that opportunity. That's, I think, what what I would like to see, and I think right now, with the five hundred points for North America, I don't really can I can't really speak for the other zones at this point, but for North America, five points extremely high. Without locals, extremely high. In my opinion. I think of four dred maybe three fifty benchmark would be a little bit more reasonable and more attainable for players to hit. But yeah, somewhere in that like three feels more appropriate for like a regional only schedule. You know, you also have to regionals. The points from regionals are honestly kind of paltry, you know, because, I mean that's a whole another episode, right, because you're looking at a thousand person regional in in Um in Baltimore and you get points only down to what? And it's not that many, right. I mean the really tragic thing to me is the people who play in day two, so they play six extra rounds because it's a fifteen round tournament. Once you cross that eight hundred person threshold and you could have as low as like forty CP coming out of that. Forty CP...

...for playing fifteen rounds and being one of the top a hundred best players out of a thousand person regional. That is absolutely insane to me and it honestly it gets more egregious as you get like further up. You know you're looking at top sixty or top thirty two is sixty C P. You know, top sixteen is eight CP. You know you're top sixteen out of twelve people. Is A D CP. That is insanely low. Yeah, yeah, it's right and you think, yeah, top, top sixteen, Eighty points. That's less than a or, excuse me, that's less than a fifth of the less less than les. Yeah, exactly, as wild less than man. Right, you could top sixteen five times in a row. It'd still be short of world's advice. Surely you deserve to go to world if that happens. Yeah, I mean, that's I mean, look at what happened with Andrew last year. Right, that's it wasn't quite that run, but pretty darn close, and no world's invide for him. So, yeah, I agree. There's something like that. Maybe we can get the competitive organizer before you get into the money aspect. Yeah, right, so I think. I think right now the bar is a little too high. If worlds is the endgame, and you know historically it is. So I would love to see some adjustments. They haven't done a midyear adjustment in quite a while, but it's not out of the question. It's not out of the question, but I don't want to you know, I don't want to promise anything either. You know, perhaps the return to locals will make things much brighter. Um. On flip side, I don't think you should just give up and roll over and say that it's impossible. Go to the events that you're already planning to go to. See how you do play it by year. If you feel like you have a route, maybe schedule one or two more regionals in there. If you don't, then at least you had a fun time at the regionals that you want to yeah, absolutely. I think that's a nice thing about North America too, is that there is that that route, like you said, if you can make it to those first few that you were planning on going to and then you're like, oh well, I'll see kind of later in the year. You know, we have that opportunity in North America where we just have more regionals than any other region. So if you're kind of getting down in the stretch you're like, well, you know, how much is it worth to me to to go for this invite? Then you know you could maybe squeeze in on the back half a couple more regionals that you weren't initially planning on going to. But yeah, it's tough. It's tough. I do hope that they adjust things, I do hope that they adjust point thresholds and I do hope that they adjust. Obviously locals coming back is gonna be huge for us, but we don't even know what that looks like and we're still three months out from that. So Um, yeah, it's gonna be a scramble in that back half. If it does stay at five hundred and if locals don't really increase right like, there's no promise that there's going to be more local events. So is it still just one per store per quarter, and that makes it really hard. So Um, anyone that does get an invite this year hats off, honestly. I mean seriously, it's gonna be. It's gonna be a crazy, crazy rat race. Absolutely anything else on Baltimore Digestion before we head into the back half. Dude, what a what a tournament, man, I just all the stories that I heard coming from Baltimore were just insane. So man, just it's good to be back. He's spending facts. Alright. Well, let's jump then into our card of the day for this week, and t w I got a fun one for you. So this card is a psychic pokemon. It has an iconic ability, but this particular print of this...

...ability, I saw much less play than a future print and the ability affects your hand size. Um, it's a much, much less, much less. Yeah. So this was the first iteration of a psychic pokemon's ability that affected your hand size and it was printed on another pokemon later. It's GUARANTINA. Yep, Guarantina with let loose. Very nice. I think I gave a little too many hits. But so Guarantina from platinum had the let loose ability. For those of you who may maybe newer to the game, which is wild to say about let loose. Let loose was an ability on a mar shadow in more recent history where you benched the Mar Shadow and you can put you and your opponent to a four card hand. The Mar Shadow was really defining of the later stages of the sun and moon formats. It was just everywhere. It's kind of a play onto the format it. I mean, if we can make a parallel right for those for those new players, Um, it's like you see battle four, Battle v I P pass in every deck right now. It's kind of that that similar thing right where just people were slapping mar shadows, sometimes in decks that didn't really deserve that mar shadows slapped into it. and well, the worst part about Mar Shadow was your opponent could bench on their first turn, puts you at four cards before you can. Got To play and draw extra cards for themselves. You know, used just a hand refresh for themselves. They can for you. Yeah, exactly, exactly, on the first turn. Yeah, it was really powerful on the people that exploited it intended to do pretty well. Yeah, completely insane cards. Uh, and Guarantina had that same ability in the platinum expansion where you ben shit and it puts both players hands to four gears. You know, is a little bit different and context, though. Hard draw was a lot less common at the time. There was much more like searching, picking particular cards out of your deck. Was the way that you use your supporters, turned by turn, and so let loose was less coveted because you weren't really trying to like put all your resources back and draw new cards. I think as people have revisited some of these formats they've with the more modern understanding of how good let loose is. They've applied that to the platinum era and are trying out here Tina more, but it didn't really get the limelight and it's heyday, but super cool and I wanted to give Guartina a card this week because lost origins is officially illegal. Now, Oh baby. You know we have lots to talk about from our lost organ testing, but first we have to thank our sponsors of the cast manscaped. Absolutely manscaped is the most elite men's grooming product on the market right now. They have the lawnmower four point now, they got the weed whacker, ear and nose hair trimmer. They got all sorts of care products from shampoo, conditioner, Body Wash, Lotion, shapstick, deodorant, Gamers, any gamers out there, and of course the tag team favorite, the mandscape boxers two point Oh, which are so, so comfortable. I love wearing them and actually wear them at like every pokemon tournament. I just wore them to my pickleball match on Tuesday. There you go. So and I can say with confidence that I won more than I lost. It was my first time playing pick wall, so I'm not gonna say it was the boxers, but the correlations there. Correlation is at least there. You know, you can do your own research and see what that gets you to products. Absolutely Riley already mentioned most of the stuff that we've used and we really like everything so if you're need of...

...some men's screaming products, or ladies out there too. I mean honestly, I can go it either way. But check out my escape and we get a Promo Code here at TAG team. So you can help US support, you know, support the cast by going to Manscape Dot Com using the code tag team. All caps for off plus free shipping. Helps US House manscape my help us in the future give secure more brand deals for you guys. But in any case, MANSCAPE DOT com off plus free shipping with Code Tag team. MAN SCAPE DOT com off plus free shipping with code tag team and checked up. Thank you so much to Manscape for sponsoring the CAST. Alright, W FEURIA is just a short week and a half away the first lost origins regional championship, and the Meta has certainly shifted substantially coming out of Baltimore. Why don't you tell us a little bit about some of the top decks and what we've been testing leading up to Peoria? Yeah, I think the online tournaments are a glimpse into what we might see, not not the full picture, because certainly players are trying out more of the new stuff. You know, there there's kind of a the low. The stakes are very low generally for a lot of players in these online tournaments. So they're going to try out the stuff that they just got. Right the Chinese toy, you're gonna take it out for for uh, you know, a drive. That said, I think there's a lot that we can harness from the tournament results and some of the trends that we're seeing are very interesting. I think there's a surprising lack of archaeas decks, generally speaking. Um, in these tournaments. Um, there's a lot of one prize box deck. So this is the lost zone deck with the Cramer ants and the GUARANTINA are excusing, the cramerrant and the sable eye and maybe even the radiant chars aren't or the radiant Greninja some combination. You know, maybe be a guarantine of package in there too alongside but the one prize box I generally think about as a sable line crame rant primarily. We also see Chiram popping up. That's a pretty popular archetype right now, off picking backing off of the popularity of Pauky Italian. But paulky Italian really didn't go anywhere and arguably gets a little bit better now that we're seeing a shift away from the lightning based Archie is Piekachu. Archie's peakachi right now not much of a deck to speak about just because you're losing, you know, the the palky Italian potentially as as kind of your primary matchup. Um, the shift away from basic attackers. I mean we're not really seeing Lunatonein soul rock right now. We're not really seeing Reggie's particular amounts. I mean there's there's a shift away from these basic attackers more in favor of evolving the RS and v Max is. So Um, you know, with with a lack of Archas Pikachu, which was, I would argue, the primary lightning based attacking deck. You see Paulky Italian just kind of doing the things that we knew it could do last format but just was, you know, it was neutered in many ways by Archs Pikachu. Ye. I'll also call out in the Pikachu space, obviously the lost box with sable eye and charges art and cramarrant does use all basic attackers, but they have typically four escape ropes in those decks, so they can very easily chain escape ropes and boss orders to Ko Pikachu, for example, and the stable eyes lost mine also ignores the effect of Pikachu, because Pikachu only blocks damage. It doesn't block anything else. Right. I think for me that yeah, that's that's the biggest thing there is is that the sable life places damage counters. So Pikachu's wording with that. Yes, you can place damage counters onto a peak tow that hesitate. Right. So just purely off sable eye, you...

...can go three for three with a Pikachum. Or if you use a combination of sable line, Charis Aard, you can get even more favorable trades. So it's not a great time to be archeus Pikachu Um. I think other archias variants that like lean into healing more are better off in the lost box, but then those are worse against Palkia. So it's just it's an unfortunate time. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. What have you been seeing on the ladder? I think there's one card that I've been seeing an absurd amount of for for what I would argue is maybe minimal return. So there is really two archetypes. Have all are all I'm seeing on the ladder anymore. And the first archetype is lost box, like just literally the sixty that one in Japan with the jars art and the sable eye and the three echoing horn and the three echoing hard yet I see that like every other game and then alternating every other game I see some sort of deck that plays Empollyon, be it a curum or Palkia or some other random deck, or they just shoved the empolly on in there and thought that made their deck better, and that's also been kind of wild. Now, Gw you and I were talking before they cast and we're not like huge believers necessarily in the efficacy of a loane in Pollyon um just feels like you can escape rope around it and just eventually get your attacks going and you know, once you get moving, it doesn't really matter if the empoleon is there anymore. Right, right, exactly. Yeah, it's it's tough, right, because if you're playing the single em poleon the and you don't get it on in the first turn, then one prize box can, you know, reasonably get the stuff that they need to get going so that they can you know, attack with their with their stable I, or they can attack with their you know, Cram rant or whatever they happened to, you know, get going Um then and then obviously you have different counters, right. We're talking about escape rope. You have path of the peak as well, shut down the ability of Empollon to get around that, that restriction. So there are just many ways. Um, Cologne. Yeah, absolutely so there are a number of ways to get around that ability. And again, I just don't I don't know. The one in Poleon just hasn't in the decks that I've played where you're like, Oh, yeah, I'm pulling on to be really good for this matchup. Sure it might, it might mess with me a little bit and I've lost to a few empoleon but I would say on the whole I have beat any of the empolleon decks that I played like maybe like sixty five right, like. So that's not to say that empoleon hasn't helped any amount. It has, you know, and certainly made the game go a little longer with some of the matchups that I played. But Um is at the end, all be all from the Games that I've tested, a single IMP Leon is not. Yeah, I'm kind of of the opinion if you really want to do the empoleon thing, you almost have to play two, so that way they can't escape rope around you, at the very least, because especially the lost box, which is going to be the primary target for your empoleon, they're playing those escape ropes and most decks are unable to set up a loan and polly on board. Nor necessarily should you, because that eventually could get knocked out. Um, so you have to set yourself up where you can keep pivoting between the empoleons when the escape ropes are played, as opposed to just them getting around it with one card. Yeah, absolutely. So, yeah, it's been everywhere, though. It's been like a cancer the empoleon. Well, and then I mean the you know, maybe maybe you have like maybe you have arguments for decks that can trade into one prize box. I mean I think about a Palkia deck where you have the the Intellians, right, so you can power up like one or two INTALIAN and trade one for one. Or you know, their their pokemon. Honestly, for an Italian from playing in...

...a one prize box, maybe you even get a two for one trade just because of how tanky the Italian is. So like maybe in that kind of deck where you can kind of Um, going maybe with Pakia early and then pivot into an Italian or two and then maybe you have the you know, the sorry for that Weird Hiccup there you have. But then, you know, maybe you splash the empolleon in there somewhere to try to just disrupt off of a Marni or Roxanne or something. You know, there's there's kind of ways. Maybe some decks could play it. I think Paulky if right now, for me, from what I'm seeing, is maybe the best one that can utilize the employer, just because it's not your main attacker. It's not the only thing that you rely on. You do have the one prizer in Italian that can go favorable in the trade. So that might be the deck that I would consider it in. And you know, Palkia is, like we said, still a tough contender in this Meta game. It's numbers is against lost box are actually pretty decent and you can even get more creative with it. You could play canceling Cologne, for example, and boss up the man of fee and used to use radiant Granninja to knock out two pokemon for a two for one and then you can trade with Talian later and it ultimately set up just these unsustainable price trades for the lost boss, lost boss deck. So PALKIA has a decent matchup there. It's decent against cureum. Cureum often will fill its bench, which means talk gets to eventually ramp up to the knockouts, especially with the help of Granninja, and it's obviously just good against the field. anyways. It was the big bad in the last format. Yeah, definitely. So, yeah, and and yeah, and it really gets to kind of spread its spread its wings maybe a little bit more. I think it's a little bit under the radar now that we have these shiny new things, but it doesn't really surprise it wouldn't surprise me if Peoria is just rife with Palky and Italian because again you're losing the one archetype in the Pikachu v Max that throughout the world champ and chip kind of kept kept Paulky in check a bit. Right. It's certainly Paulky had dominated worlds right and is one of the most played decks, if not the most played deck at world but you know it had that hard matchup in the Pikachu and so you're losing that for the most part, potentially, from what we've been seeing kind of in the online tournaments, and that just bodes well. Bodes well for that deck. So why would you play a Palkia versus a cur Um, for example? You know, they're both the water decks that utilize star portal. Why might you choose one over the other? Yeah, yeah, that's a good question. I think the curum has the actually, it's it's cure Um, cure Um. Had chipped tell me that actually for DM me. He's like here, listen to this video. It's cure Um. So the cure um deck, and thanks chip. By the way, I've been way closer than you. No, no, I'm it's for me because I said like Kim or something. You say Chiram. That's what I like corrected you like on the spot when you first said it last week. Cure Um, cure him. Well, but now that I know you just didn't trust you. Well, maybe I got a bad dub of the anime and they said Hiram. I don't know. Anyway, cureum, don't, don't watch your Adam and one, two three movies. Clearly I shouldn't. Clearly I shouldn't. Yeah, the main character's name is arsh ketchup. People keep telling me it's ash catch. Um, I don't know what they're talking about. ME. Um, yeah, so. So why would you play Kyram over why would you play curum over Parkins? Okay, we'll cut that end post. Why would you play cuum over Palky? Italian cure um has a higher damage output potential. Right you you have uncapped damage potential. We talked about...

...that before on the cast. But just, Um, you know the that that's a little bit better into The v Star DEX. That could potentially limit their bench. You know, you think about Guiarotina, could potentially limit their bench. Archaeus decks obviously can limit their bench. So Um, you know, if you're thinking that you're gonna play into more of these big bads, as it were, then cure Um, cure him, would be the way to go. Paulky, I think, like you were just saying, has a little bit better of a one prize matchup and can still hang with the big guys. It just doesn't have that, you know, zero to three thousand damage output potential that cure him does. So Um, you know, you just kind of have the way that and uh, and decide what you think the proposed Meta game might be, but I think having a favorable matchup into the one prize box, it's probably a little bit more valuable than Blasting v stars. It almost feels like it almost feels like curum is just a better version of what ice rider was, so to speak. And you know, ice rider had its pros and its cons and I think curum has very similar pros and cons. Just does it a little bit better Um. But I think if one price DEX are really on the rise, you wouldn't choose ice rider and I think the same as is at its base level, true for Curum, unless you're getting really creative with the list. Yeah, yeah, and obviously I think a lot of the lists are are getting pretty focused right now. You're seeing a lot of cureum decks that are not just straight cuum and they do play a poky line, so you have that kind of versatility and attacker and and obviously can power up cureum is a little bit easier with the the star power on Paulkia. But yeah, like you said, as long as this one prize box is kind of terrorizing the Meta game and there's no real hard counter to it, curum maybe is less appealing to me personally than Palkia and I think that'll that'll continue here as we get get ready for Pureia. I agree. So next question then, is do you think the lost zones, sable, I charsard box that has been sort of centralizing the online space. Is that the best way to play comfy or is there some alternative that maybe as good or better? I think it's the coolest way. I think. I mean, like you look at the tools and toolbox for that deck. You have the cram, right, you should be getting that out on your first attacking turn. You should be able to utilize that. You know if you if you've if you sequenced correctly. So that's just a quick one tien there and then ideally on that next turn, or or at least by the third turn, you found enough resources to start ramping up stableize and just throwing stableize at your opponent. And that's a really cool card because you're just being very Um. You're being very efficient with your damage counters. I always love damage efficiency. Right. A knockout is a knockout, whether you do five thousand damage or you do exactly the amount of HP that that pokemon has. So you know, being able to efficiently place those damage counters where you want them, where you need them knock out things on the bench. You know, Snipe essentially, right, is good for one energy on a one prize. That's really nice. That's a that's a nice attribute to have, and then you can kind of clean up there with the chars aren also very good. Um. So is it the best way to play it? It has a lot of the pieces. So I've been I initially played one prize box, and you guys can go on my youtube and watch this. I was playing one prize box with radiant grinning right. You can only choose one radiant. So the most popular variants right now are the Grinninga or the chars ARD. So if you play with the Grinninja, I don't necessarily think you gain anything in terms of the UM in terms of the consistency...

...of the deck because, Um, you do get the concealed cards, ability that you can discard and draw cards, but you also have to include a lot more cards that you don't necessarily want. Um in the Mirage Gate is kind of the biggest one. And then additional energies, right, so you're kind of the trade off to me is not quite there, especially now when you have lists that are playing multiple manifee, and so you're seeing this charges are list that is accounting for decks like Paul Kia Italian or one prize box that's focused around Granninja and they're playing multiple of the manifee just to be able to get around that. So I think you know, if you look at those two varieties, and maybe you riley have another variety that you're thinking of for one prize box, but I think of either Radio Grenninja or radio chars are. I think the radio chars are the one just wins out in terms of being the better deck. Finny thing gets it's centralized on chars are, to be honest. Yeah, no, I mean, and I'm I'm in agree. It's with kind of the the general public view here. I do think that the charges art is the best way to go, and I think for exactly the reasons that you said, like the Grninja prefers to play a lot of those cards that really don't synergize with the rest of the one prizers. Um. So I think the Granninja is great in the comfy to x, but I think it's only great in the comfy x that also utilize Mirage Gate and V and v Star, Pokemon, hum, you know, the guarantine a, the Gudra, those kind of suckers, like they love the Granninja, and it's a great slot into those decks. But chars are just makes a little more sense, I think, in the same lie deck. Yeah, absolutely. So. One of the interesting things about the chars are deck is that you can only utilize with the current builds that I've seen. There's no Ryhan, there's no double turbo, there's no magma basin, so you can only really utilize the chars are for two turns. And so you know, my question to you, Riley, is do you think that you know, we've seen obviously Piper winning with the radiant chars art intelian deck had all those cards in it, you know, the twin and the Um Magma Basin and the Ryhan. Do you think those are at all needed in the one prize box act? Do you think just attacking twice with your main attacker? You know, I would argue that the charges are it's the main attacker right. You can you can argue about the creamer and stable. I think those are just kind of getting you to where you really want to go, which is the charges ard Um. But do you think that that's enough? Do you think that one prize boxes should adjust a bit to be able to utilize charges ARD a little earlier? Yeah, I mean, clearly they're performing well. Like the last late night prior to this episode was dominated by Lost Zone chars ARD UM. I don't love how it feels, in the moment at least, having to wait that long to utilize the radiant charges art effectively. And I guess there's other ways you could do it. Can maybe a bench it with an energy early and, you know, maybe slap a second one at some point in the game. Um, you could throw in some of those other tech cards as well. Um, the problem is they don't really synergize very well with the loss zone box on the hole. Like the Magma Basin only works on charts ARD, obviously, and it's not as flexible as in the Intellian deck where you can grab it on specific turns. Um Rhan makes a little more sense and I could see that maybe fitting in, but really you're trying to coll rest almost every turn and then maybe boss or rock sand towards the end of the game, um or Clara at the very end of the game, and you know at that point you don't really have an opportunity to attach the twin energies, so you can't really use that super well. It's it's just awkward. Yeah, and I think. I think too. I mean you lose the Intellian, you lose the ability to search out that Ryan Hun Um at any points. You're just kind of trying to...

...build up this massive hand and yeah, totally. Yeah, that just makes it harder to find right. And you do. You of course do plow through the deck with these loss zoned variants, but Um, you know, one off Rihan might take a little while to find. Two of Rihan still might not show up on the turn you actually need it. Um made to like coal rests that turn, for example. So for the most part too, I think it's a problem. Not necessarily. I think you're still able to find your way through most matchups. I think where it starts to become a problem is if there's really gigantic pokemon that play healing, because in that in those situations, you want to be attacking with cards are to put the pressure on them in a way that like stable eye and cramarant don't on their own. Um, I don't think there's too many decks like that right now, but I can certainly. I had a personal experience where I played against the curom deck that used Cheryl and that was really unfortunate because I couldn't really use chars art effectively to actually knock out the the cure Ms. yeah, right, so that's that's kind of my take on it. You know, if I was able to use chars at one turned earlier and those kinds of matchups, that actually could have taken a knock out. But that one turn let them share. All right. So is that a fatal flaw? I don't think so, but it is a flaw, I guess. Yeah, definitely, definitely. You don't you don't ramp up to that big damage output until the last two turns of the game. Um. So I think last question that I have, just generally, is with a an influx of maybe one prize decks, this one prize box deck featuring the radiant charis ARD, with that influx, what what are some of the counters to that? I mean we've talked about maybe paulky and Italian as being a potential just archetype that has a favorable matchup into one prize box. But if you're not playing Paulky, is there any way that you could, you know, counter it? Or are there other decks besides Paulky and tellion that you feel like have solid matchups into one prize box? They're definitely out there. A good example actually is if you look at the online scene even and just my own personal experience, the Gujra Lost Zone deck is pretty good against single prize lost zone box. It just it's really hard to actually knock out the Gujras Um, especially if you have like a parasol on it or something. You just can't even get the damage counters on it. Stable lie UM spicy. So that's, I think, a good matchup for Gudra Um. ARCIS, like healing focused arcias decks are pretty good against lost box as well. You just take them way too long to because of situations like the chars are only be usable for two turns. You can kind of just like deny them prizes over the course of the game and eventually overwhelmed them. Um, those like the two that most immediately jump to mind. Um, other than that is just like a single prize alternative single prize decks that can like hang, of which there's only really reggie, and Reggie, of course, is Reggie. Um, but I think Reggie is pretty favorable into loft zone type decks. Yeah, right, yeah, and that's that's really the only other one prize box, uh, that we are, I'm sorry, one prize box. That's really it's a one prize box if you think about it. True. Yeah, YEA, many people are saying this the other on the other one prize xts deck we have in the format right now. So, yeah, the thing I like about the Reggie okay, so there are a couple of things into one prize box. I I do want to point out with the Reggie deck, reggies have a little bit too high of HP for the one prize box deck and they can like, potentially, potentially, attack like a little bit sooner with the things that they want to attack with. You know, for knockouts,...

...right, you can get a first turn Craner, but you're not taking a knockout if the Reggie player can scoop that up or Um, you know, pivot and and then you can potentially take multiple prizes with the the Reggie Lecky which is kind of fun. Cal Fees on the bench. Oh yeah, yeah, the Reggie. Reggie does feel pretty good in the lost box at the cost of playing Reggie. So whatever damage that does to you, psychic, whatever psychic type damage that does to you, Um, you have to accept that. Yeah, you have a good matchup there, but Um, you you played reggie. Yeah, ratio plus L plus played plus Reggie plus. Yeah. So any other any other thoughts for for this episode on on the directions that you're seeing in the format? I think I think it's really interesting. We'll obviously have a lot more to say next week as we digest more of these online results, as we play more games ourselves. But anythink you want to kind of any any loose sends you want to wrap up on on this episode in terms of what we've talked about so far? Um, no, I think we hit on kind of the mainstays and poleon's everywhere, lost boxes everywhere, their button heads with each other to see who comes on top, and then Palki has just take it over all of it. Long say so, I think there's gonna be a lot of development over the next week leading up to Peoria. I'm really excited to see what people bring and I'm really excited to take home the DUB me too. Me Too. Well with that. Thank you everybody for listening to the cast. You can find us over on twitter. The podcast is at tag team pokemon. I am at Real John Walter and, of course, Riley at smiles with Ryles. Catch US over there to stay updated on all things POKEMON trading card game. We appreciate all of your listeners that so much. Be sure to leave a rate and review whether you liked it or if you had feedback. We appreciate it very much and we will catch you all next time piece. See M HM.

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