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Tag Team Pokemon TCG Podcast
Tag Team Pokemon TCG Podcast

Season 5, Episode 6 · 3 months ago

5-6. Whine Tasting

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

The boys are back and ready to digest the HECK out of Salt Lake City. Riley got top 32, and JW got to sit at home. Come check it out!

Tag Team is brought to you by Manscaped! Check out Manscaped and 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 do Oh. My name is Riley Holbert, joined as always by my good good friend Mr J. W. Crey Wall. How's it going today? It's going all right, man? Yeah, feeling okay? How about yourself? You had a birthday this week? That's right, man, one ft in the grave, one ft at the tables playing Pokemon cards, and that's how we like to do it. I was gonna say it was a literal event on your birthday weekend. Yeah, and unfortunately didn't win, but I gave it my best efforts. So that's we'll talk plenty about that. But did you at least get a nice meal or what you do? I actually heard you have to celebrate when he came back. Or I had two fun experiences over the weekend that we're not related to Pokemon cards. As you shood when you go to some place that isn't your home, well, Solic City is beautiful. I was just I was just there for the first time, um at the beginning of September inconvenient timing. It was awesome. Yeah, true. So yeah, on Friday, Andrew and I got or got dinner rather with a friend of mine, a long time internet friend of mine. To give you a sense of perspective here, I turned twenty seven this past weekend and I met this internet friend and have yet to see them in person. I met them when I was eleven years old, so greater than half of my life. Sixteen years now, I've been talking to this group. Yeah, I'll do a little and dollars. Uh. So that was really cool. I got to see someone I've been talking to you and friends with for over half of my life in person for the first time. We got awesome dinner. We got a seven course like wine tasting pairing dinner. I treat everyone who came with me to that and that was really so shout out to Jacob, my awesome friends. Shout to Andrew for for coming along with us. Um. So that was a lot of fun. And then on Sunday, my actual birthday, we went out Andrew and I after the we finished Day two, just went out and got some really nice brunch at another really nice restaurant and it was delicious and new tri shows. Dare I say, dang that sounds heavenly? It was awesome. Yeah, so it was a really good weekend, Pokemon of course being a part of it, but I had a lot of fun with just my overall experience there. Also, Salt Lake City has a light rail, which every single city in the country should have. I agree. Yeah, it's a nice system over there that is really freaking nice, and you got the mountains. Awesome place. I will definitely want to go back to future Salt Lake City regionals. I mean, you could see why Brigham Young was so fond of the You can't you could? You know? I got really into the Mormon culture and the Mormon lore in history when I was there. Did you know that Bring Him Young founded not only Bring Him Young University, but also Utah and the University of Utah. I did not do that. He founded both of them. Isn't that well? He founded, like I don't know whatever, the colleges that eventually became those two universities. I thought that was crazy. That is that is crazy. You can't settle for one. I mean, he was not a man to settle for one in many things. Geez. But yeah, I had a lot of fun. Sol City is a beautiful place, wonderful and kind people. The only bizarre thing that was going on that weekend. On like Saturday. I think there was some kind of a are like phone game experience that was going on or something on Saturday, because there was a ton of people dressed up in like Alison Wonderland, the characters Pogger like walking around like on their phones, solving puzzles and stuff. It was crazy. It's like, thank goodness. It was. It's almost like the Plexus Convention, like, thank goodness, I'm not the weirdest guy here, and they're looking right back at you saying the same thing exactly. The irony so awesome experience though, I'm really glad I went to Salt Lake City, um and shout out to everyone who made the experience special. How about U j W. What did you do to celebrate my birthday? Well? I rooted you on, and you know you you did not reward rewarded, but did not reward my devotion but did not know I mean you're slipping a little bit, to be honest, My finishes have only gotten worse. Yeah, six, so I'm a little disappointed in me. But what did I do this weekend? Oh? Yeah, we got the kids...

...this weekend, so we're doing I think I talked about this last week. Were a little foster a little it's not really fostering, but just for the sake of ease of explaining or doing some fostering with some kids. So this has been our first week. We got them on Sunday and we're keeping them for another month in a week or so, so another five weeks um. And they're crazy two and three years old and they have big hearts, but they have big feels as well, so it's a lot of a lot of struggling with them, but overall good. They don't sleep very well either, so so that's another piece of the puzzle. So I've been like, know what I hate these I've been pounding energy drinks, that's for sure. So well that's that sounds like an awesome, really fulfilling experience as well. So yeah, it to you for doing really cool thing for your community. Yeah, totally totally. It's not much needed. So but enough about us. Let's talk about some poke shall We had a big weekend for you, Riley. So um, I'm gonna welcome on to the podcast a top thirty two finisher from the Salt Lake City Regionals, Riley Hilbert. Congratulations, thank you, Yeah, and and I both got top thirty two with a runback of the MW list. We made two or three car changes, took out the drape beyond because we expected less mirrors. We added a lost Vacuum instead of the hyper potion as more stadium bumps, and then we swapped over the two paths or Sorry to Lost City one pokey stop over the inverse that we had played prior. Um. Oh, and we also played in Avery and all those changes are really really good. The list felt ashm um. Andrew and I both felt like we were pretty solidly in there the whole time. Andrew and I actually identical records for almost the entire tournament. There were a handful of rounds that we were playing at a different record, so it's actually kind of a miracle we didn't play each other. Right then I would have had to beat Andrew down to a pult, which would have been sad. It would have just been It would have bad vibes all around when that happens, right, so um, but yeah, we we both had really solid runs, both of us finishing at ten four and one, and we both would have made it if we had one more win. Our resistance would have been good enough, so you know, there's obviously what could have been elements to that, but I think we can we can walk away proud with the top thirty two finish. I'm certainly I'm not necessarily trying to override the top thirty two on the best finished limit of six. Yeah that's a nice that's a nice finish. So yeah, super happy with how things went. The meta was pretty much exactly what we predicted both on the show and in the hotel room the night before, with Guarantina blowing up big time at this tournament. You know, all of the laws Zone energy really was focused in Guarotina at this tournament, I would say, And Guarantina was actually one of the matchups we felt the worst about. But we felt like the metal was wide enough that we could get away playing you, and that also ended up being true, where there was just so many different decks and and if you could squeak by like a Guarantina or two, that yeah, exactly, and that's basically exactly what happened. So two of my four losses were to Guarantina, and then I beat another Guarantina, which is kind of like what I would expect if I were to play three guarantinas is to win like one and a half or one of them kind of thing. Um, So it's kind of what I expected. My other losses were to cal Connor playing a very similar Palculo list with the drapeon, which was really really challenging to deal with, and um and a final loss was to um what was it? Oh? It was to the second place finisher who had to drapeon in his Archa Pikachi list. That that gave me heartburn. Man, that was really stressful. It was so funny because you tweeted about to drapeon. I know, I know, I was my own I'm doing and the craziest thing. And he was a really nice guy, really awesome to play against. But he accidentally passed his drayon before he tacked on it in the first game, and right before he had like finished his turn. He realized what had happened and had to research for a punk kaboo to get rid of it, and actually would have won that game if I if I was able to just kill the drapion. I wasn't active, but you know, things happened. I would expect to lose to a deck with double drapion so I'm not mad about losing to the deck with double yeah, and realistically the top eight it was pretty brittal from you, to be honest, Like, I feel i'd feel good against the...

Palkias, I'd feel mid against the Guaranteda, and I feel bad against the Reggie's right, and then i'd feel pretty decent, I think against Hal's deck. Yeah, So what what were you hoping to face on the day? I mean, obviously, you know we've kind of talked about this, but just you know, as you're going through the tournament, you're kind of like seeing what was doing well, what were you hoping to face on kind of a round by round basis open? So, like, I think you felt really good against kind of the miscellaneous categories. So like any random deck you may come across, you know, think you're deralled on type of decks, think you're blissy decks, your stall, things like that. It's really good against against depressing the miscellaneous category. And then you also felt really good against Pakia that didn't play drapeon. I have an incredibly positive record against Pakia with the Mew deck over these last few tournaments, something like like ten and two or something like that. In Palakiah so very favorite. It feels like against Pakia even if you go a second and um, just generally good against archaeas decks as well. Um, and then you know again like the miscellaneous decks. Because this was such a wide meta even if we felt like the Drapion matchup or sorry that Guarantina Drapion matchup wasn't the best, there was enough things that we were positive against. Also with the two lost city, we felt like we had good matchups against you know, suboptimally built Reggie lists for example, And I did end up beating a Reggie in day one two oh by just lost zoning to Reggie giggas before they were able to attack. Um, you know, so you felt really really good. It felt like I had a lot of fifty fifties as well, and or at least pretty close matchups. And that's something that we valued a lot going into a wide meta game like this is we'd rather just play fifty fifties and either win the coin flip or you know, kind of outpace your opponent then or potentially or potentially outplay right if you're set your stuff out. Yeah, like with your combination of like Marnie's and uh, and double cross switchers and avery cross switcher. You know, you can do a lot of really tricky stuff to your opponent. And when it came down to it, and the night was before us, and we were sitting in the hotel room, playing on the ironing board and testing, we were really just at the point where we kind of knew we were going to plame you. We briefly considered Zark, but we thought you was just a little trickier of a deck, Um, And that's what we valued a lot. We valued playing Marnie. We value the rock sand path combo that you can execute. We valued the consistency that MEU has, which is probably king amongst all the decks right now is mus Consistency just reigned supreme Um and it felt like it had a chance against pretty much everything M. So that combination of stuff, I mean makes it maybe it sound like an amazing call for any tournament. UM. Certainly we did not expect, for example, Reggie to be as represented as it was at the top tables. We definitely expected some Reggie, but it was very overpopulated at the top tables, I would say, UM, And I definitely did not expect to hit double dray beyond. But Reggie's Reggie is a good matchup. That was the thing, right if they're not playing the three giggas. I I had a an undefeated record in the three Reggies that I played the tournament, only the one. I still don't think it's a great matchup, but I do think the double lscity helps a lot and like making that effective. So and they we did have the avery now to do like lost City an horn type of place, which is really it's a lot of things you need to hit that next her to deal with that exactly. So you know, overall you felt like a solid choice. I don't regret picking it at all. And really it was just one win away from that top eight, which could have come from anywhere in the day. Yeah, definitely. Thing that's such a such a rough beat. I know, we're we've been having very consistently good place. It's in the group, in the testing group, but no kind of spike. Yeah, I mean I didn't have a top eight, but well that was not this year, not this s I mean it was like two regionals ago for me. No, I understand, I understand. I'm more speaking to like this season, haven't we've been to two tournaments. I guess we didn't really bring a force to Baltimore. Well I wasn't there, so well either was I or or many of the people in our group. That's what I'm saying. We should bring a lot of people into Baltimore. So yeah, I would. I would say, like as a whole, as a collective. I'm pretty satisfied with how the group is doing, but I would love to see like a little bit deeper of a push. Um, those those top eights, we're not shooting for the top six. Teams were shooting for the top fours. We want the medals. I want the hardware. That's why, that's what I'm telling you everything. I want the hardware. I want something to bring home. Yes, exactly, exactly. I want my suitcase to be point one pound lighter, lighter, heavier. You...

...wanted to be a lighter if you lost something. I guess, man, but that I be though, sad Um, Yeah, I totally agree. I want to. I will say, at this juncture in my career, I'm very happy with the consistency that I'm putting out, like consistently making those Day two's, consistently having deep runs, even in day two. All the regionals that I've been to in the last year, Um, but I want to get that last final push to be like, oh, this is the guy who's the top eight at every tournament type of thing. Yeah, yeah, I mean it's it's tough to do that, right, I mean obviously even even today two consistently it's hard. Right, And then to and then to be in the running for for money is hard, and then to be in the running for top eight is hard. You know, It's like it gets obviously increasingly more difficult. But I think something that a lot of people don't think about, and and I always come to this realization, or I came to this realization when I was taking auditions for bassoon, is that you're not really competing against the field. You're not competing against the eight hundred people, You're not competing against a thousand people that show for a tournament. You're really competing against the fifty to a hundred players that you know play well enough over the course of the day and pick a good deck. Um, You're you're not You're not playing against the vast majority you know, You're you're you're playing against the top players, and that always was a little bit of comfort, right because you're thinking, well, you know, how can I be the best out of a thousand people? You know, maybe maybe shrink that pool down because realistically, I think there are only a handful, you know, a few dozen people you can die in pools, so to speak in Pokemon, and what everybody at is that like if you're not trucked for the field. Let's say I played some deck that had like a hundred zero matchup against Reggie, but you know, at thirty seventy versus everything else in the old Yeah, I would have a great time if I made it to top eight, but I would probably not get there because I would lose to all the random stuff I would play before I hit Reggie. Um So I think there's a there's certainly like some of the field. And one thing that we commented on as a group in Salt Lake City is I feel like the level of play of the layman has significantly increased in the Pokemon trading card game in a post COVID era. And I think that's because largely of the online scene that's cultivated is people have a lot more access quickly two really high quality lists through these tournaments and they're getting a lot more play experience as well, whereas before people didn't really appreciate tc g oh for how effective of a tool it could be. Yeah, yeah, that's interesting. I don't know that I've necessarily noticed that, but I mean, you've you've been to more tournaments, uh, you know, on the whole in the last year than I have. So I would say as a minimum, like the quality of the lists I see in the list, I do agree list quality and list homogeney has been increased, right, Like, like I can I can more accurately predict what people are going to play in their lists because of the online scene. Yes, I will agree with that, and um and so I think I think that's the biggest thing. And also just the fact that the meta evolves so rapidly because of the online space, like meta games get solved much quicker. And we commented on this in the last episode. Two. Yeah, I'll say that's a bit of an l though, because you go from you go from these open deck lists in the online format two you know, a closed deck list and real life play. I think there is a huge element of surprise that, um, you know, I the longer that I play, the more I realize, okay, that's that can be a significant part of winning or losing and doing well at it. I mean, I mean, not not that, not that it's everything, and not that I like will only choose it because it's spicy, but just saying that, you know, if you have curveballs, that you can throw out your opponent because I don't know your exact list. You know, functionally, if you have a list that's a little spicy versus a list that's you know, blase, you know, go with the one that has a little spice, because you never know when that could get you a win. No, I I agree, I mean I think more so like meta games in general are getting solved, Yeah, just so fast now that lists are getting you know, so optimized, and like the counters are getting discovered earlier, which you know reduces you know, you can't show up anymore to a tournament, especially after like the first regional and meta maybe definitely can't do this. You can no longer show up to a tournament and be like that three steps ahead of the entire meta game. You're like really trying to clock in like one or two steps max. That makes sense, right, No, totally. And I think a lot of that. Yeah, it's like you're talking about list optimization, so like making the counts. You know, counts are just better earlier on the whole for a lot of these decks. UM engines are a lot better on...

...the whole for a lot of these decks UM And so yeah, that that makes it. You know, sometimes you can gain an advantage, like as a deck builder in these new formats where you're like, well, you know, maybe I don't have you know, the archetype necessarily, but I have maybe a more consistent deck than my opponent just because I built it in such a way, because you know, I'm a better deckly. But now all of a sudden, everyone can copy all the good deck builders online and so you're losing a bit of that advantage. Absolutely. But enough about all of that. Let's talk about how Salt Lake City ultimately ended up. And it's interesting because there was so much Reggie in the top eight, but that really did not pan out for them much at all. It's the tournament ended with an Archaeus mirror in the finals and arch mean, yeah, and that's interesting, right because um, Reggie was the play Yeah in in my opinion, right, Like, Reggie was the play. And not not to take anything away from Hail, no disrespect because like obviously the right the right call for the for the situation, but that was kind of it, right, Like he he was a beneficiary of the Reggie's just doing so well. I mean, we had Reggie four through seven. I don't remember a time that a deck has been that dominant at those top tables. Um. And maybe maybe there has been, and I'm just forgetting it, you know, maybe like Paulkier or something recently. Um, but clearly Reggie was the play. And Hail, uh, you know, a great job to understand that that's going to be one of the major forces in the meta game and coming with a perfect act account. Yeah. I mean I've said for a while how I think Couch is super good against Dex like Reggie, because it just completely oppresses them. Um And and Reggie was the play. Ultimately, you know, Reggie was clocking in like what five percent of the meta game or less, and then at the top tables, it was representing every table had a Reggie at it. You know, by the end of the tournament, it was crazy, it honestly, it was so it's hard to deny that Reggie was to play at this tournament. Yeah right, I'm looking at the trainer Hill Metal breakdown. Players played Reggie and day one, twelve of those players made Day two. That's a twenty five conversion, right, that is just absurd. Yeah, and you also got to think about, you know a lot of those forty nine players maybe people who are playing like very suboptimal Reggie's or playing suboptimally because they just like the funny Reggie deck right right exactly exactly. It was under um. I would say it was underrepresented. Um, but it had major conversion. And that's kind of where you want to be because if you're overrepresented, you know, uh in especially in a tournament prior h then you know you might get more you know, countered against. I guess like us with the with the mue list. You know, you guys decided to play the second Lost City and the Avery, so in a way you had a much better Reggie matchup. But you know, it wasn't really on the radar, so to speak. It wasn't particularly overly played deck, even though it did solidly in uh Impuria. Yeah, I think it just had that kind of reputation hanging over it of the inconsistent funny Reggie deck, and you know, the folks who are consistent with it and stayed true ultimately found the success that they were looking for with Reggie. So you know, props to Zul and Grant and Caleb and and Drew for sticking with it and ultimately finding that payout. But of course, huge props to Hail for recognizing that space in the meta game for Gudra to slide in there. And Gucher really does have a lot of a lot of good matchups that that it goes for. You know, it has Palkia is pretty favorable, other Archias decks are very favorable, Guarantina if you can get a parasol to stick is very favorable, and Reggie of course being very favorable. So it makes sense how l could have carved a path to get there. Um, certainly there are counters to Gudrew. I mean, for example, his deck had pretty much no doubt it actually had zero outs to a mill tank, right, yeah, right, right, I was gonna say mil tank is a big problem really any deck that can one shot, you know, and we've talked about this ondcast before. Yeah, Guarantine, it could be a problem Zora could be a problem. You have things like you know, cure Um, which is a very popular deck in both tournaments, both Peoria and in Salt Lake City. So you know, if you can dodge those bad matchups, which you know clearly he was able to do for long enough to reach the Reggie's in top eight and the more favorable matchups in that, you know, the the final push you know, end of day two rounds and into top eight. So and I think it harkens back to things that we've said before as well, right where sometimes you have to play a little bit of a risky game to have these deep tournament runs. You know, could have died in pools, it could have played blisses and dadons and all sorts of stuff that just...

...would have made it's like miserable. But instead it hit the right matchups and got far enough into the tournament where it was able to close the deal because now the field was set up for it perfectly right, exactly exactly. And I always think like like that, to go, bring this a little bit full circles, like you're not necessarily playing against the field, like you're playing against the best your meta game against the better players you know, and if if you think that the better players are more likely to pick a deck like Reggie, if you think the better players are more likely to pick a deck like Palky and Italian, then generally that you know, if you're thinking about the meta game, those might be better decks to be more prepared for if you think that the better players are going to be playing those. And so um again, a lot of pro goal is to win a tournament, right right, And I think there is a little bit of um, you know, there is a little bit of risk there. Like we said, absolutely zero out to mil Tank, not a huge deal. But you just counted mil Tank within thee Yeah, you just get counted by one card exactly. Um, you know, really hard time against these one shot decks, which, while not everywhere, certainly still see play. So um, oh, you gotta get lucky, you gotta be good, you gotta build a good deck. And uh and it's quite a quite a special finish for him. Yeah, huge props to Hail. He certainly has deserved a regional under his belt, so it's awesome to see him kick that up. I do think he I do think he has a regional win. He deserves a more modern regional win. Oh okay, Okay, so you're like, which are you discounting regionals from, you know, prior to anything, anything around the time that you want a regional and and before and before probably doesn't count. Okay, I'm getting the my regional wins are are in question. They're definitely definitely. Yeah, Well players didn't have good lists then that was the thing. That was the thing, man, they didn't have they didn't have played out limit list. Awesome, So huge frosts to hale, huge frosts to everyone who made top eight makes an awesome medicalls going into this tournament. And I'm looking forward to seeing what's to come in in Lily. Yes, yes, any any bold predictions. I don't know how much farther the meta game can really be taken, honestly, but if I know anything about Europeans is that they're going to play some funny little stall deck or wacky like wacky deck that just makes your opponent miserable type of So, what what is that deck? I mean? Is it is it like Durant? Is it some more Peco I don't know, man, I could see like a like a stall war Pecko mill tank. You know, annoying guys kind of deck for sure. Yeah, yeah, I mean mil Tank seems fairly strong, right, I mean it counters completely the winning deck from this to see. We don't hate to see that at all. Yeah, for sure. Well we'll have to wait and see where the meta game goes from here. Let's quickly jump over then two ore card of the day and shout out as well to to Nick in the chat here at A met him in Instalta City and he was an awesome opponent. Um so for this week, JW, I got a Polka dec centry for you. Are you ready? You're feeling yeah? Hold on, let me just get my Google search engine. Okay, if you can pull up the Google and then take it in as as I say, just please please go slowly and sell every word. Thanks, okay. It spreads its petals to absorb sunlight. That's spelled s U n l I g h da. Thank you. It also floats in the air to get closer to the sun. Petals and floating, um is it? It's like I think, oh, there's a chair. No, it hurts, how wrong you are. The pokemon being featured today is skip Fluom. That's my other guests. Well, my initial guest was going to be some Flora and then oh that's also so wrong. Well because it just yeah, because it has feet, it doesn't fly flooria. Don't be goodness if I saw us on floora flying around out freaked out, holy birsh Yeah, that would have been insane. The card of the day for today is skip Bloom from the Lost Thunder set, and it's got very lamb attack tackle for thirty one grass. But it has a really cool ability where once during your turn, you may search your deck for a jump luf and then put skip Loom into the last zone as well as any cards that are attached to it, and then swap it with a jump Luf. So this was a key component of the loss March...

...deck in the Lost Thunder era, where you would lost zone the skip looms to build up massive damage for your jump lofts to one shot g X Pokemon. But I chose this card because of how efficient of a loss zone engine this is. Can you imagine how these lost zone decks could ramp if they had access to a skip Loom line turned to ten cards in the zone would be ridiculously easy. It's it is interesting that you say that though, because there is like a there's a Bannett line that can kind of do a similar thing. It's true, but the Bannet doesn't have Lost March coming at you. Wow, that's that's true. You could could be doing some insane down Oh, I see what you're saying to do the damage output. Yes, yes, two dred for one energy would be quite good. Two plus for one energy would be yeah. I mean you'd get to the ten for your guarantinas and all that. Plus you'd have a chumple off attack like this. Whole line would be insane in this meta game. So Skiplam is really cool card though. I always like it when the not final form of a Pokemon can do something interesting, especially the middle forms. You know, if the basic can do something, that's one thing. But at the middle guy is cool. Now, that's powerful. So shout out to Skip love a good middle guy. We do love a good middle We stand a good middle guy here. So true, so true. So shout out to Skip Loom and shout out to the Lost Zone. Here's somebody else we need to we need to shout out. I think you're right man, and that is going to be of course, the sponsor for the Tag Team podcast in Man, skate ski is the premier grooming product for men everywhere. And let me tell you, on my birthday, I sure as heck was wearing my manscaped boxer. Your seven course wine pairing, you've got to have the manscapes strapped in when you got your seven course wine pairing coming up, because you want to be feeling comfy and fresh as that sixth seventh course comes in, your belly is getting nice and full. You know, Manscapes there to support you no matter what. Yeah, we do talk a lot about being fresh and being ready at tournaments, and it could be really nice to go back to the hotel room during the lunch break and maybe even take a shower, get all freshened up, put on that deodor, and I haven't had it failed me once. So if you want to go and get some Manscape product of your own, and I would recommend it, head on over to manscape dot com. Use promo code tag team for off plus free shipping at check out. That's Manscape dot com code tag team off plus free Shipping. Escape products are seriously awesome and j W and I can both attest to their excellence. So why don't you go checking out and these co tag team at check out to meet all of your men's grooming needs. Thank you so much to man Escape for sponsoring the cast. All right, so as we look at the ladder portion of the cast today, there's been, of course, some drama in the Pokemon scene. Can't go a week without it. I'm sick of it, man can't go a week without it. And but this is kind of interesting. We don't love to cover like every single little bit of drama on the show, but I think this is interesting because there's some potential conversation to come out of this. And so for the uninformed, Nick Moffitt, who actually just got Top four this past weekend with your Tina, came forward and let the community know that, Hey, a couple of years ago, I was playing a Zorok Galisopod deck and played six cards intentionally so I could fit in my tech card without having to cut into an of my other car choices in the deck. So of course, that is shooting. There's no if sands or butts about it. That is intentionally breaking the rules with the intense to gain an advantage. And there's been a lot of discussion since then about what that should or could mean. Um, you know, in some folks eyes, Nick is now needing retribution of some sort, should be punished for an indeterminate amount of time, you know, maybe a year, maybe longer, maybe shorter. And then other people are more in the camp like, hey, Nick has done the right thing coming forward. He is clearly trying to exhibit growth, and we should appreciate the fact that he's bringing attention to the fact that he this happened at all, and that this could happen to someone else. And then Nick Moffatt comes in and also says, oh, I was actually staying up all night before Salta City contemplating a sixty first card again, which is like, not really all you want to contribute to those geist...

...here, I would really maybe leave that one in the Yeah, that one downs a little suspect for sure, for sure. But JW have curious what are your thoughts about not only this this individual case, but what should we what should our approach be when cheating is unveiled in the community. Should they receive the divine retribution from Pokemon and be extricated or do they deserve that opportunity to demonstrate growth in the short term. It's really tough, right because you're looking at a situation where you have somebody that is self reporting UM an event that has no record of of you know, there's no there's no record by the tournament organizer that this happened, right, So so self report that has no evidence necessarily other than the person saying that it happened, right, Um. And it's it's just like it's it's a really weird The only reason that we're talking about this is because it's so unusual, right, this has never really happened before. We don't really have UM players coming out and saying, you know, I'm sorry for cheating in the past, right, And so we're in this very it's just kind of it's it's gnarly, you know, it's a gnarly situation. So I can't really say necessarily what should or shouldn't happen, But I do you know, I think if we're going to say, um, you know other players who you know, even this season like have have cheated, like maybe should have a harsher punishment. I think that if someone has cheated in the past and is admitting it, then I think there should be some kind of punishment levied. Now I think the severity is of course going to be debated, and you know, there might not be a solution that appeases anyone or everyone or whatever. Um, but I do feel like I think it's very a very consistent take to say, whether there was intentional cheating at a tournament and it was caught, or whether there was intentional cheating at a tournament that you know, it was self reported, I think there should be some kind of um, some kind of some kind of punishment, some kind of band levied. And I think so too. What my take is like, Yeah, there should be some sort of punishment doled out. You know, the fact this is a self report does does make it like almost more incredible, you know, like it's not someone throwing an accusation. This is someone saying I did this, hopefully not under duress, I suppose, but making the assumption that because this is a willing tweet, which he expanded on later, this is probably completely of free will. Um, you know, the guilt wing on conscience, so to speak. And I do think there's you know, I think it would be fair game for some punishment to be levied. I don't necessarily have any strong opinions about what that should be six months or the full season. I'm kind of the opinion if you get banned, you should not be able to go to World that season. So, um, I'm kind of a full season type of guy, But I don't really you know, I wouldn't feel strongly if it wasn't type of thing. Um. What I'm also curious about is Pokemon has somewhat silently taken the stance that they're not acting upon, at least hearsay cheating. Um right, like Zach Cooper an infamous example where he hadn't been caught multiple times with at least gameplay errors and d C from multiple tournaments, but ultimately was not banned. We had the recent Isaiah Bradner's situation, which, regardless of where you've fallen out, there was no band bowled out for it, as well as the other player that was caught uh staffing deck during the screen rounds at Baltimore, and ultimately none of those actually resulted in punishment. Do you think Pokemon will take a different stance on sort of their lack of action towards cheating in the event that it is you know, a self admitted instance. Yeah, it's tough. It's it's like I don't know where to where to fall on this. And I don't think I'm going to be like a very um in this case, just because it's so unusual and new. I don't think I'm going to be a very good kind of judge of this. Not that I not that I have any say it whatsoever anyway, but um yeah, it's just is is very unusual and and and you know, you I think as a company, you want to uphold integrity to the best that you can, and you know, you want to give people the benefit of the doubt, which is I think what has happened, um, you know in the more publicized cheating scandals of the last couple of tournaments. But I...

...think in this case, since it was malicious and you know, done and there there's no reasonable doubt that it wasn't malicious, right if you're going to self report like that, Um yeah, again, like something has to be done. I do think a band is is appropriate. Again, it was something that was done intentionally, um, and that's shouldn't be tolerated. Now. I don't necessarily think we should you know, make nick like and make an example out of Nick, Like, I'm not saying like crucifying Nick. You know, you know he needs to he needs to go down in flames like Lifetime band. I don't necessarily think that's appropriate, but something yeah, I think like Max a year is fine. Um, but I am still a little curious if Pokemon will actually take action. And here's maybe some justification for why they wouldn't. Right, So, in a post Yao Jiao world where you can now get sued for for banning someone from the game. Obviously Nick is self admitting, but what if, for example, his account was hacked and someone was trying to take advantage of him and and get him banned. What if his what if he was under a situation of darrest where someone was threatening him that you got to say that you cheated or else I'm going to do some horrible thing. Hum. It feels really difficult for Pokemon if they were worried about just banning people in general for potential repercussions. It feels like even a self admission of guilt, it's still maybe not enough if that's what they're worried about, because you could still spin that around and say, oh, this is completely misheppresented a blah blah blah blah blah. Right, Yeah, I haven't thought about that that. That's kind of what's been going through my head, like as you're talking, is well, can they still do anything if they won't for other stuff. I'm actually really glad that you brought that up, because, yeah, that you know, I mean again, that's what makes it so gnarly. Right, It's like you weren't caught in the act and there was no punishment levied at the event. So is it kind of a a thing where you know, hands are tied, you know, they kind of every tournament is kind of locked in this vault and there's no kind of retributive action that happens two players outside. You know that that maybe had cheated an event, but weren't caught in that event, like and and that you know, it's kind of just sealed away, and you know that event is in the past and nothing can be done retroactively. I don't know, that's just so interesting that you bring up that point of view, because I hadn't thought about that at all. Well, it brings up also kind of an interesting other side of this, where you have folks like Jay lissage on the band list, and frankly, I think Jay did deserve to be banned he advocated for cheating in a publicized article. But also is his situation truly much different from from Nick's right now right? And so if they won't band Nick, is it justified to ban people like Jay? You know, what does Pokemon intend for the band list to be? Is its supposed to be people who are simply not allowed to play in the game for a duration of time, either because of cheating or misconduct, or is it really just to be like they do not fly list, like the absolute like unacceptable level of people at a tournament, like the gay Smarts of the world. You know, what is the intent of this list in the first place? That's you know, classic question. I think there's been more and more transparency from organizers and the company in general over the years, but certainly there are still some things that are enigmas, and this I think will continue to be one of them, because like you said, you know, there's there's people players that I think a lot of the community is like why aren't they on there? And then there are some players you know, maybe perhaps dare I even say, like a like a Gina Lombardi say, not any of our listeners actually even thought about you, well that you know, that could be a fun we have a little bit of downtime that could be some you know, Pokemon lore. Uh so let us know if you want to hear some some stories from the past. And I'm not saying that he should be unbanned. I'm just saying that there might be people that would think that, Okay, you know, a Gino, a j Um, you know, maybe very similar tie. That's fair. That's fair, Okay, I'm not commenting on that. I'm just saying, like, you know, there there might be a lessening of the harshness of the viewpoint on those players. I mean the point that I was making as well, Yeah, exactly. I...

...just I don't know, and I don't know what Pokemon really intense for this list to be. Um, it's just a really bizarre situation, right, like what what is going on? You know? Because at the same time, you could also make the argument like if someone like a Gabe is going to be banned justifiably so in my opinion, why wasn't like Jack Eiler band for a very public theft and admission of it? Um you know, it's where are they really drawing the lines anymore? It's just a really wesable I mean, I understand, I understand what you're about to say, not going to comment on it, but you could still make the argument like, oh, they committed crimes in Pokemon tournaments like and also other people have been banned for stealing right, So yeah, it's just like the lines are so murky and it feels like it's just completely unknowable to anybody who isn't in the direct space that works on it. Yes, I would love facts. I would really like if Pokemon had something more like what some other games do, where they actually publicize, like, hey, here's the addition to the list, and here's why. I think that would be really healthy in my opinion, but I understand why they don't. Um, So yeah, it is what it is, I guess, and the game will persist. I think one thing that we should not do though, as community, is four folks like Nick who are coming forward and trying to right the past wrongs that they have committed. We shouldn't as a community try and just tar and feather them to death either. Do I think a band is justified for Nick? Yes, if Pokemon does not dole that out. Do I think he should be harassed out of the venue or like not allowed to play just because the player base won't accept him. No. At the same time, no, um, as long as he continues to demonstrate that he is trying to do the right thing and playing clean. You know, it's not up to us as a community to harass someone who's trying to be better out of it. Yeah. I mean, I think you have you know, players that maybe have misstepped in the past and then you know, maybe I said that they're trying to be better and then falling into you know, we see kind of similar conduct from what you got to give him the chance, right, Yeah, I do think there's something admirable about coming forward, albeit you know, coming toward a part was the coming forward and then saying that he was about to do it again. That's true, that's true. Yeah. Probably, you know, if you're thinking about exposing yourself for cheating allegations, probably try, you know, to leave it kind of in the past. Is something that happened in the past, don't make it, don't not like the current issue. Listen, listen, you know there's something we said for that I'm sure his conscience at the very least is much more clear, and that you know, the mental health aspect of this whole thing is something that we really didn't touch on. But if you know, if that's gonna allow you to sleep at night, then by all means, you know, it seems like a net positive. So I agree. I think if you take away anything from this, I stand by all my previous statements about just play as clean as you possibly freaking can, you know, make your actions super clear, play a sixty card deck list that you submitted to the tournament and not a different sixty cards have. Make sure your sleeves are up to stuff every round, and make sure your opponent is following the same standards that you are. UM. I am very methodical when I play, or at least I like to think that I am. I announced exactly how many cards I'm drawing off of Geno sect and what hand size I will end at once I've drawn them. UM, And I'm very methodical about tilting my Pokemon. I asked my Pokemon to do this, my opponents do the same. UM. As a community in a tabletop game, integrity is a huge part of what will ultimately mean long term success. If there's no integrity in a game like this, then it's effectively meaningless because it's all reliant on the trust between the players that were playing the same honest game. Absolutely, so play clean, hold your opponents accountable to playing clean, and don't be afraid to call yourself out if something is wrong as well. At the same time, do not let your opponents make mistakes genuine mistakes, ah without you intervening as well. You know, if you notice your opponents about to draw an extra card, it is your responsibility in the same way that you shouldn't draw an extra card, is your responsibility try and prevent that from happening. That that is an under discussed topic. I think, um, certainly certainly on our cast. But yeah, the maintaining the game state UM. On your opponent side of the field, you know, it's obviously things can slip through the cracks and you're ultimately not responsible for how your opponent plays. But um, you know there can be some malicious intent to you know, you're seeing that your opponents doing an illegal action...

...about and allowing it to go too far and become irreversible, and all of a sudden you're able to take advantage of that. I mean there is something to be said for um, you know, not allowing that to happen. You know, you're keeping up with your opponents plays and making sure that that they themselves are not cheating themselves out of the game. Absolutely integrity. That's the takeaway for today. It's tegrity. So what does what does our world come to? You know? So true man, so true, So stay honest, play clean and by our merch at flex Daddy, at card slash Shop So true. You can find our long sleeve tease with tag team podcasts on the side, the slick new logo the back. Yeah yeah no, it really nice. So you know Christmas coming up, Um, you want to treat the homie to a nice long sleeve tea for the winter time. All you Northern Hemisphere people you know what I'm talking about. Winners can get a little bit cold head and over to flex Daddy dot card slash Shop get yourself a little merch merch. And if you're interested in following us on social media, you can find us most likely on Twitter. You find myself at Smiles with Ryles. You can find JW at Real John Walter, and you can find the podcast itself at tag Team Pokemon and if you're really invested and want to hear us live every single week, we record on Wednesdays at twitch dot tv slash Munner and g W also has a Twitch channel of his own, which not only do we occasionally record on, but he streams on regularly at twitch dot tv slash flex Daddy Righteous. We appreciate every single one of you for your listenership and support. It's been awesome being back at real life events and getting to meet some of you in per Sin. You are seriously some of the best fan community I've ever seen. Your amazing look forward to continue seeing you at events in the future, looking forward to Toronto and with that we will catch you next time. Peace see it.

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