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Tag Team Pokemon TCG Podcast
Tag Team Pokemon TCG Podcast

Season 4, Episode 7 · 7 months ago

4-7. It's Getting Hot In Here

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Join Tag Teams JW as well as Rob Stephens from the Heat Factory Podcast as they discuss life, podcasting, and how to prepare for the upcoming *potential* season.Use code TAGTEAM at manscaped.com for 20%off + free shipping on any manscaped male grooming product!

Welcome back to tag team everyone, the POKEMON TCG's Premiere podcasting duo. My name is JW Creewall and today I'm joined by Rob Stevens. Oh, it's guys, the heat factory podcast. Rob. How's it going? Oh Man, I couldn't be feeling better. I'm excited here to talk a Pokemon with you guys. How are you doing to night? I am doing quite well. Yes, I let's see, I went over to our community garden and they were having a kind of festival thing. I don't really know, like they do these kind of events every two or three months, and so this was a big event. So I went out and I got some some flatbread that they had at a food truck and then I walked around the garden and saw the little kids are painting some Pumpkins. I was real nice. And then, let's see, they had a apple CIDER press. That was, I think, the hot ticket. That's USB me. That was pretty cools. They're they're pumping out, you know, putting the apples in and juicing them, squeezing them, getting the apple slider a plus fall right there. Yeah, it's really good. Autumnal dream. Absolutely, absolutely. Do you have like a favorite autumn activity that you just love to do? You know, my kids love the Pumpkins, like all things Pumpkins, but not in the way that like the instagram people do, but like the actual genuine like going and getting the Pumpkins and painting, lots of painting of the Pumpkins. I have three kids, so we're always looking for like little activities to do. It feels very crafty. Although I'm living down in Louisiana and it is doesn't feel like fall. It's almost getting to where it just barely feels like fall here. It's incredibly hot, says. So my favorite fall activity will be not mowing the lawn, I think, because it's so hot outside. Yes, yes, for sure. When does it get cold in Louisiana, or does it like, do you have a cold season? I don't think nothing here compares to I lived in Ohio for four years frame and nothing here compares to the winters there, even close. I mean the lowest it gets here is, you know, in the S. sometimes it's snowed twice, three times in my memory, and and this note when I say it's snowed, like a joke of snow compared to what you guys get up there so well, I even think like Columbus was pretty chill. You know, compare it, because I lived in Michigan and then I love, yeah, Eveland. Yeah, those are both on the water and you just get pummeled with like the like effect snow, and then Columbus feels like you only get snow, you know, maybe a week out of the out of the year, like, you know, interspersed right, you'll get a day at a time, maybe like seven or eight days of actual snowfall. I don't know. My Mom and dad visited me one time in Ohio when I was living and I was living in Canton and it was snow and about as bad as it ever snows there and we were trying to drive up a hill and the car stalled on the hill. I swear God they almost just murdered me in that moment because they were just so afraid and had never driven in that and just you know, but they were troopers. We turned around and we made it. We made it to church on times. It was all good. That's so epic. Yeah, yeah, there's amazing. That rocks. So we are so happy to have you here. I posted actually on twitter a couple of weeks ago now, I was like hey, if we were to do a Collab, who you know, what would we do? And I think it was Owen, through the twitter of the heat factory podcast. He's like hey, we should, we should join up sometime, and I see was very proud of that moment. He said, Hey, man, I got us on. I got up. Yeah, it's great, it's great. So tell us a little bit about yourself, rob and then also tell us about the heat factory podcast, which I find to be a nice you know, part of the Pokemon community and if you know, if our listeners haven't checked out the heat factory podcast, kind of tell them what they would be in for were they to listen to some episodes. Yeah, thanks so much for the plug. We basically conceived the the heat factory podcast on the way to a regionals. I think it was a West Virginia regionals. Well, maybe it was the Jersey regionals, and we were on the way to Atlantic City and were Owen and I were run in the car and I said, and this is I think you guys started, maybe just right before this, because I wasn't aware of tag team. I'm not sure if you'll had started at this point. But I said, Oh, and you know it, the Pokemon community really needs like a consistent podcast. And and both both tag team and he factory started write about similar time, think. So, oh, yeah, yeah, and and since then we've just been having a lot of fun. I think our podcast would like compliment tag team in a way. You guys talk about a lot about the met and stuff we do. We do a little more like interviews, some behind the scenes of the game. So we've done things like interview a judge who, like Aj Schumacher's, come on and talked about putting together a leak up and we've interviewed and occasionally we talked about the met and things like that. I particularly pride myself and enjoy doing interview so that's a big part of the podcast. And and, you know, try to do some kind of different things behind the scenes,...

...how to create content, how to buy and sell cards, that kind of thing, but also about the competitive scene. Yeah, it's I would say it's a little more, you know, scripted. Right. There have been some kind of like history episodes that are that are really interesting and yeah, I mean definitely something that you should check out. Now Talk to us a little bit about that, like consistency. I would love to know kind of what what kind of struggles that you guys have, because I know Riley and I have, you know, some struggles, like you know right now your Riley's not here because he's working right you know. So talk to us a little bit about the struggle behind creating a podcast. So when I first started, we both I live in canton, and own lives about, I don't know, like forty five minutes away from where I lived. So we were doing it live in person, like together in the same room. And within I think six months of US starting the podcast, I realize that me and my family were going to move to Louisiana for a number of reasons. So that made it incredibly hard. One of the big struggles for us in something that makes it hard to do it regularly that we are just starting to really solve, is that Owen works really early in the morning and I'm a night owl and and just that difference is huge. And I'm also an hour ahead of you guys right, so you're right eastern time, I'm central time, and so I get home at about six o'clock your time, sometimes later than that, sometimes more like seven and Owen goes to bed at like eight or nine, which doesn't leave a whole lot of time, which is why I'm going to call Owen out right now. Love Owen. Wish he was here, but he's probably sleeping. Probably has this on hit on on his pillow next, and that's what I like to imagine right now. Yeah, remind me, remind me what Owen does, because you you were in the library system. Yeah, I'm a library. I am a library and I do like outreach, social media, all that kind of stuff for a library. Owen does work in like surveying. So, Oh and actually, if you give him a map of your house, like on Google maps, you can go on Google Earth and like tell you which way all your wires run and like your telephone polls work and all that kind of stuff. He doesn't get that kind of work. It's really interesting stuff and he's been doing that for a long time now. Yeah, does a really good job, but because of that, I think it's the wake up early. Sometimes he has to travel around to like sit since that sort of thing. Oh and, Oh, and don't kill me if I'm describing your job not right, but I think that's what one does yeah, that's great. That's great. Well, yeah, so the he factory podcast going well. You know, you've been running for about three years now. I think right that if we started about the same time and that maybe it's maybe a little less than that the like. Yeah, and it's been a little on and off. We're getting back into it. We released it up to the last week and we got an episode coming up on how to prep your your TCG account for the transition over to tcg live. So that's extremely important. Yeah, that's going to be definitely must must listen material for a lot of players. Talk to me a little bit about yourself now in the sphere of the POKEMON trading card game. You Know How long you've been playing. What maybe have been some successes or, you know, challenges or whatever it is that you want to share about yourself within POKEMON TCG background. So I am like, in some ways an og pokemon or TCG player. In some ways I'm not in that I play when I was a kid, right when the game come out, I had base set stuff, you know, I was looking for like blast toys and chars are back when they're coming out. When I was you know, I don't know ten eleven years old. Played One tournament when I was a kid and did really well and it wasn't a sanction terms, just like at a local store, and then got made fun of it for in high school and stopped playing, which is kind of a sad story, except for that. Then when I moved to Ohio as a moving a friend of mine was like, yeah, he still of your own pokemon cards and pull it out and start playing and I was like, I wonder what the scenes like now? YEA, and Ohio, as you know, is like one of the best places to live in the world for Pokemon. It might be, yeah, but I like, I would venture to say it's one of yeah, like, if not the best place for yeah, I agree a hundred percent. And so kind of just walked into the episode of Pokemon fell in love with it. It became my community in Ohio and my highlight was not my first year but my second year playing. I made it two worlds and that was the year that I played in a tournament that was pre worlds and I played Buzzwal garbador, like baby buzz guard, before kind of anybody was playing it, and that deck kind of took off and that was that was like my biggest accomplishment was that you're making its worlds. Having a deck that I made like kind of enter the Meta, and lots of people made lots of better changes to the deck that I did, but if nothing else, I was like one of the first people to pilot it at a tournament and do well. Sure, sure, and then I've had lots of sort of like top like day two finishes and stuff, but that was my biggest accomplishment. And world's. Look, if you make it two world's, anybody he does. When I made it, two worlds are our common friend Otto walked up to his it was like I was being nighted bazing, you know, like you did, and it's definitely good. It's definitely a big, you know, accomplishment, especially like your first time. Yes, that's always it's kind of relieving in a way, right, because you you have to do a lot...

...of planning ahead. Yeah, for that invitation. We'll talk about this later. Actually, this is going to be a sure second half of the PODCAST. But yeah, there's a lot that goes into it, so it's really a special moment, especially at first time. Yeah, so yeah, so you have a family, beautiful family. So my kids, I have three children. So Lula is seven. So, you know, tool is very right now into like the the gender stereotypes, like, like she doesn't wander where a Batman mask because she says it's a boy mask. So might have a little trouble getting her into the game. But I have a lot of hope for my other two kids, loyal and Rook, who are five and two, and Brooks, my youngest, and he's definitely going to play. He's Hunter Cresson going to play. He does actually doesn't have an option. It's like your mom sending you piano lessons were that's going to be. Yeah, what's going on in my house. So that's right, that's awesome. Yeah, that's how as you're saying your children's names, how did you come up with your children's names as a side? So, no, no, they're they're unusual names. My name is Rob Stevens, which so I didn't want any kid to have a name where you go and look at yourself on facebook and there's like eight hundred other offense. My parents, my term named after my dad, but so um my my kind of me and Jackie took turns. Jack and my wife took turns picking the name, sort of in and making sure the other one agreed to. Tolula is just an in that we like. There's not any sort of significance other than we love list or of musicality of it and it just was the one of the first names we agreed upon, so we want with it. Jackie came up with it. Loyola. I was raised Catholic and Catholic, being Catholics a big part of my history and so there's a saint ignatious of loyal. I just like the word. I like the sound in history and Rook, my brother's twitched egg is and like gaming tag, is righteous rook and we were gonna name him after my brother. I wanted to name him Shan, but my wife was like, I don't super love that name and she jokingly said, why don't we name him rook, after your brother's gaming tag, not thinking it would become a thing. And then it was a thing. I was like yes, that's exactly what we're going to do. That's so epic. Yeah, so we've taken lots of pictures of him with chess pieces and I'm I'm a chess enthusiast. I didn't know that. Okay, yeah, all right, I can see. I got into chess a little bit. Like I had a roommate over pandemic that was really into chess. So I got into like what you know. So I know, like you know, the Botz sisters and like sure, Anna cramling and yet off them chess and like when all that stuff really blew up over the pandemic. I know. Yeah, lots of those hobbies that you know. I think, JW YOU and I have a lot of Commonis just poke them on board gaming chess. I'm also a musician. I'm not as accomplished as you are on the bassoon, but but, but a musician my last and you know you like books. I have also read books before and so and the past. I think, I think you know, there could be more opportunities for us to, you know, at least hang out and like grab a beer something yod. Definitely, man, definitely love that. That's awesome. So good. All right. So let's talk now about a little bit more about the heat factory podcast. So you're a fellow, you know, of course, content creator within the poem on sphere and you walked us through how it how it all kind of started on that road trip. But what are some maybe favorite episodes that you've done from your past that really stick out to you as being you mentioned a few Aj's interview as a judge and you have maybe a few future projects coming up, but like, what's your favorite episode? You look back and you say this is why I wanted to make this content. Yeah, so to kind of come to mind, one is we did a podcast that was really kind of my idea, and remember, I think I mentioned to you that I'm the one who typically edits the podcast. Ours is not alive podcast. So from an editing standpoint, we did a one where I called top ten players, five top ten players, and I did ten minute interviews with each one of them. So I called, I got in touch with Zach lossage, Daniel to via, Isaiah Bradner, grant manly and Azul and I talked to each of them one at a time for ten minutes and ask them questions on how to get better at Pokemon and I stitched it together and kind of from an editing and just from a like that was an accomplishment, you know, to get down all those guys to make it seem like it was a holistic thing and just the advice that those players gave all in one spot was really it was really amazing. I would I actually was looking through as you kind of brought this up like before the pod, like hey, we're going to talk about some favorite episodes, and I was like man, I need to go listen that episode again because it was a super fun process. And then the and then the other thing I mentioned I love doing is interviews and we've done some great interviews. I think interviewing Andrew Mahone, who, for me, has been someone I've kind of looked up to in the community as a role model in terms of, you know, its content creation and his devotion to the game. And so we did a two part interview with Andrew and...

...that was just kind of a dream comes true. He was so gracious in it and he was really enlightening and it was just fun, like it was just fun. We got to sit down in a room with him, me Owen and Andrew sitting in the tricky gem live basically, yeah, and Nice talking to him and it was amazing. So those two episodes, I think we're Super Fun. We and we've done lots of lots of different things, like, you know, stuff like what belongs behind put pay walls and we did an episode the New World Order Story that was like an old pokemon story. Yes, Super Fun. So just a lot of really fun and interesting stuff, like yeah, yeah, and I think I really value that kind of perspective, like the long form content that's edited and and that you script and that's like very much a research based in a lot of cases, and that's that's really really valuable, you know, telling these stories in that way. So looking forward, you already mentioned, you know, your next episode, but yes, there anything that you see as kind of the future of the podcast, like where you want to go, a type of content you want to make? Any other episodes that you want to make beyond, you know, kind of your next one that you're planning? Yeah, so this is kind of funny because I've I got a message from Owen on like Messenger the other day and it was like well, there goes our episode idea, and it was a picture of your tweet saying Great Idea for content coaching, like evaluate coaches. One of the very first ideas that Owen had was to like anonymously get coaching and tell like ten people. We would do coaching with them and then get the coaching and then like do a review of the coaching, but only really a review, like the best ones, not really talk about we do want to talk badly about anybody, sure, and it would be an opportunity for those coaches to plug their coaching. That's a that's like a dream episode. The amount of work to go into that is a lot. That's really long form. Yeah, but that's a dream for me. I want to do that episode. That's something I want to live up to. I've got another episode idea I want to do. I have an episode idea for I have taken and made a spreadsheet of all of the the pokemon cards that have won world championships. The slogan of Pokemon is to be the very best, like no one ever was, or one of the slogans, and I wanted to do episode on like what, what Pokemon has won the most world championships and like who's been left off that list and and why? And so I thought that, you know, that's a really fun just sort of take on the card game, historical take. Yeah, and an oppertutunity to kind for me to dive into those world championship decks and think about like, man, why was that car good then? And and what does this say about the game now? And it's about backward and forward looking in a really fun way. Yeah, I think so. And you look at kind of the history of Pokemon in terms of they definitely make certain cards way better than others, you know, for the most part, like mew mew too, like they're kind of like elevated, right the power level, pedestal as opposed to your pincers or grimers or whatever, right, like there's just the difference there. So that would be that would be really interesting. Yeah, you'LD be fun. It's also interesting. Definitely. Your big names are like the expected ones that they are, you know, guardavore, those kind of things, are winning, but there are some like weird ones in there, like ball toys. Weirdly, like one world championships, because there was like one card of the print that's fanned like three metaws and that just was in every deck or every winning deck, you know, and that time. Yeah, and then there was, yeah, and I think it was played in like a there was like a team magma. Did that also have? I think so. Yeah, so, and that's the type of card that now will come out and we'll hit for three energy for ten damage, you know, but it was like, you know, it's really amazing cards. Yeah, for sure, for sure cool. What motivates you? You know, I am really motivated by the product itself, by producing something like obviously the interactions we get with our fans motivates me, and I think that motivates own a lot, like I don't want to speak too much on his behalf, but I think that's a big thing. He likes the like. You know, he's mostly who runs our he factory twitter. For me, though, it's like, look at this little thing that I made right, like look. So I'm a poet. That's I have like a PhD in poetry and I really love to craft poems. I like to make things and for me there's just beauty and like Manna. I edited this episode. I went through and took out all of me and Owens ums and us and I stitched these things together and I made this into coherent products, and it's something that Owen and I have both taken pride in. Is that like look, like sometimes I just go through anchor and like look at our episodes. I'm like that's you know. So it's driving the content ahead in terms of like doing new stuff with content that maybe other creators aren't doing. It's certainly making stuff for an audience and having people listen to our podcast and consider us and being known as fun to when people have said, like how, and I'm sure you've had this experience, like you playing against somebody in like Oh, you do the heat factory, like are you know all you do tag team, and...

...that's how they kind of know who you are. But just making stuff for me as a huge motivator. I'm and getting better at the game. It makes me think about the game and ways I had in before. It makes me and I am super competitive at the game, like in terms of my attitude. You know, I don't always play super competitively, but I always feel super competitive. I am the same way. I'm just like when I am playing, you know, when I kind of have like a like a silly mode and like a serious mode, but when I'm in serious mode, you know, that is life or death. Like everything, Oh yeah, is about the game. Everything else shuts off and I'm just right there. Yeah, I've definitely seen that in myself and in you and lots of players and I think you have to have that switch, because I've had, you've, I'm sure you've had this experience in Games where you let your foot off the gas a little bit, thinking I got this under control, and then it just comes back to bite you. You know, you have to keep it that competitive edge. So so learning about the game definitely a big part of the podcast and getting to talk with people who are big players in the game and getting to share them in their platforms. If you're listening to this and you think that you're you know, someone in the community want to have an interview, that's the sort of thing we're super interested in. HMM, do you remember one like salient detail from maybe particularly that episode that you recorded with the five different players? Like do you remember one particular detail that really stood out to you from them, or maybe they had something that they all kind of Said? You know, something that stood out to me was one of the things that said out oddly was I expected to go and ask so one of the question to ask them is like, okay, it's the pint. It was. This was in not like the height of the pandem, because this is when we were all in lockdown together, and I said what should we all be doing right now to be better pokemon players? And I expected them to all say the same thing and something that really stuck out to me was that they all said different things. Or one of my favorite things that Isaiah Bradner said was that he goes back and watches like old like old content, like old tournaments, to just learn about the pace of the game and learn about he is one of the best like sequencers, I think, that I've spoken to and interacted with, and that was another thing that people had lots of different strengths. Like someone, one player said, I'm really a deck builder, and another and I've forgive me, I don't remember who were saying these things, and another player was like deck buildings not actually my like strong suit, but I can take a good deck and then like win a tournament with it. Right. So the different the different things they said. But the one piece of advice that and that I haven't listened to all that much, although I've watched more, is going back and watching content and just really watching games and dissecting what's going on. And then I just think not a lot of us have the attention span to sit and do that and it's a really valuable skilled to learn our way to sharpen your skill set. Oh, for sure, completely agree. They're awesome, awesome. So with last question about the heat factory podcast. Sure, yeah, what's your ultimate goal? What are you looking to gain? What will you accomplish that will make you you know, like if there is ultimate satisfaction, I mean I know you say that you know, enjoy kind of the creative process, right, right, what will you feel good about, like if you ever have to leave the heat factory podcast? Well, you will you feel good about accomplishing, like what would you like to accomplish before that journey is over? That's that's honestly, kind of a hard question for me to answer because I'm process based. But I think that so, this is going to sound silly, we have talked for a long time of making like a really cool sweatshirt or like t shirt for the heat factory. Yeah, and so the goal is not to we can do that, but the goal is to I think if we made sweatshirts or tshirts and got and they it and had enough of an audience and enough of the fallowing that people are like really excited to have and wear those, that's not like a huge amount of fame. It's like a little bit of fame, where like we have people who are like excited to have that logo on them. I think that would be the kind of marker that I would leave and be like, man, that was a really cool thing I did in my life. Like I ran this podcast and we got people excited about us as a brand and as like an entity. I don't need, you know, a million listeners or anything like that. I would love that, obviously we all would. What about you guys? What? What's the TAG team like? What would you walk away with the tag team feeling good about? Is that? I'm flipping interview here, but yeah, now that's great. I feel like we've from my perspective, we've achieved it. You know, the point of the podcast from my perspective has been to you know, because I have, you know, shifted content on Youtube to be a little more casual, not completely completely casual, but you know, a little more casual, because I think that's how the Game Bros is like. You had to have an entry point. That's definitely and then you get that entry point and you get down into the dark stuff, you know, and I kind of think of tag team is like the dark stuff where it's like the Meta analysis and the particular card text and, you know, all the things that relate to, you know, the game on a week by week basis, and so, you know, in terms of ultimate goals, I think, like in terms of the content, what it is? I think it's it's there. I think we've achieved what we've wanted to achieve in terms of like the evolution of the content. That's not to say that we won't continue to grow and add or subtract to make it better, but for you know, where we have it, we feel good about it.

And then also, I think I have achieved what I wanted to from from tag team in the sense that, you know, like you're saying, you know, that kind of fame aspect of not that we're famous, but like there are people that reliably listen to the podcast, so much so that if we don't upload the episode on Wednesday night, people are I get, you know, five, six, seven, half a dozen messages that are like hey, where's the cast? Yeah, it's like yeah, you know, Oh, there was some processing error, and it's like you feel bad about it, but then it's like, oh my gosh, they're all these people that are messaging me because relying on you right, exactly, exactly, and that's it is like, you know, they're like hey, you got me through this day or you got me through an hour of this day and you know, thank you for it. And it's like wow, to take that you're a regular part of someone's week because like a really cool thing. Like I have my podcasts that I listened to every week, you know, I listened to like whatever, sports podcast etc. And that's a part of my week. Like on Mondays I listened to sport podcast, and so to think that you're they tag team is a part and you know, I think he factory. We need to be a little more regular and getting back in the flow of it, but that we could be a part, a regular part, of people's lives. That's that's a super cool thing achieve, for sure. Yeah, yeah, it's definitely awesome. So props on that to you guys. Yeah, well, future props to you. I mean I'm sure that. I'm sure it's already happened, but like right right as you as you get, you know, more regular and things that that's a huge that's a huge blessing to to be a part of Somebodyho's life like that. So right, let's go now to to our car, to the day. Rob, you're going to take it away for us and we're going to hear from you know about a card that we've never featured on this show before. So why does you go for it, rob? Tell us your card of the day and, you know, maybe you give a story leading up to the big reveal about kind of what it means to you, either in a competitive or personal sense, and why you chose this card. So when I was, when I was a kid and playing, we were I was in my my friend invited me over his house, Bobby, and Bobby said I have a new deck and I want you to bring your best deck and bring it. So I brought my little like I didn't know that it was called this at the time. I had just sort of made a version of haymaker over to his his house and he stalled me out through the whole game and I saw, as I was choosing this card, I saw that you had just tweeted recently about how you like, you love playing, like stall and like little decks. Right. So I chose from the jungle set, Mr Mine, and this Mr Mime. It's Mr Mime number, I think so. I've got a blurry picture here, but it's either eight or six out of sixty four. And this is the one with a pokemon power invisible wall. Whenever an attack, including your own, does thirty or more damage to Mr Mime, after a flying weeks, resistance prevent that damage. That's this thing had forty hp and you could only hit it for ten or twenty. If you hit it anything more than that, the damage was prevented. This makes a lot of sense in a stall deck because it's actually really hard sometimes. If you get all your pokemon powered up, they all hit for more than that, right, even at that time when there was lower HP and on all that kind of stuff. That's right, and I don't know that in correct me if I'm wrong, because I have kind of a gap in mystery. I don't know that there's been a pokey power exactly like this since or an ability like this since. Yeah, I mean I guess you could look at like the odds or evens, Mr Ma yes, but those are you know, obviously it's not a one to one right right. There's Bro there's a tradition of Mr Mine blocking damage in a weird way right, and I have frequently wish that there was a card like this in the standard format, although I would obviously be overpowered. Now you would hardly find pokemon that attack for ten or twenty. But, aside from just the cool a built, the cool poke pokemon power, the card artist super cool. You've got Mr Mom kind of holding his hands up and there's a golden rings circling behind him. He's doing like, I guess, like a barrier type move. Sure, and Mr Min, one of my favorite pokemon I've dressed is Mr Mim for Halloween, which was a not my best costume, but it was certainly creepy, if nothing him. Well, I honestly like, I gotta say, the character of Mr Mime, like you said, is creepy. It freaks me out. I think it's an abomination of a pokemon and all you're doing is just feeling my love for it. There you go, yeah, you go. Yeah, I just like I feel like pokemon on might be a better franchise if Mr Mime didn't exist. But like that's I guess. Also, the beauty of pokemon is that they cater to everyone. Yeah, you know, you have your big strong dragons, you got your you know, you got your little bugs and you got your weird human form pokemon that, again, I shouldn't exist. It's it's that only has four fingers nonetheless. Yeah, and that look like suction cops. Like yeah, I don't really know what's up with that. Why he's got suction cups and he's got his little curly shoes, his red dots and his weird shoulder pads. So, yeah, just a lot to hate about it, for sure. Well, yeah, I think I'm not kidding, though. I like, I...

...don't look at Mr Mond and think, Oh wow, that's amazing and blows me away, like their pokemon like that. That I really enjoy. You know. It's more of like what is this weird thing, this like this weird outcast of the game, doing in the game? You know, right. So that's that's my history of Mr Mime and that's my card and you know, it's move, it's suck at his attack meditate did ten damage, but ten more for each damage counter on the defending pokemon. So some relevance there, but really really fun for like a stall deck where you just trying to get your opponents run out of cards. That's right. That's absolutely correct, and one thing about Mr Mind that I can appreciate is that he's very smooth, as will your pokemon poke balls be after you get manscape products. So do you know what spookier the seeing a Gangguar on Halloween? It is not shaving your master balls with anything other than manscape products. When it comes to below the way screaming, there is no need to carve your pumpkaboozs this Halloween, because manscaped is here the upgrade your grooming experience. Go from an ends to an ARBOC and join the two million men worldwide by going to Manscapecom for twenty percent off and free shipping with the code tag team. So let's be honest, guys. If you're anything like me, you've put exactly zero dollars in the self care other than a two and one shampoo. That's right, I'm calling you guys out. That's me for sure, and a packet of dollar store disposable razors, and so I struggle for years with inconsistency and injuries trying to shave myself. So let me help you change that. Love Yourself, love your body and give manscape the shot. That's Manscapecom with code tag team. Twenty percent off, Free Shipping Manscapecom Code Tag team and make your Cher Rubi's happy. Excellent. Thank you, Rob, for enduring that. There is no need to thank KNUCKLEA lie talking about goals in a podcast. Having a sponsor super cool and really cool sponsor. So, yes, yes, thank you so much. Guys. Do well with the redoubts. Thank you so much to manscaped for sponsoring tag team and they have, yeah, been been a great sponsor here over the next, you know, the last month and hopefully many more months to come. So, Rob, I want to ask you now about some tips and tricks for the kind of variety of players that might be listening to this cast right now. You know, we get a lot of competitive players, but we also get a lot of players, you know, that are that are just beginning their journey into competitive play. I've talked to so many people that listen to the cast or I've met them in person, and they are just getting into the game and they've just gotten into the game over the pandemic and so they're really excited for what it would mean for them to go to an in person tournament and you know, see what that's all about. Right. They've never been to a League Cup, they've never been to a regional or world's or anything like that. So I want to ask you some some questions, just I know you've been playing a long time, I know you've been playing competitively long time and it's just always good to get these new perspectives on what you know you might be able to offer to a new player, season player, person trying to get the world's invite. So what would you say rob to a season player that is you know they're hearing a we got competitive events possibly coming back as soon as January in the United States. What would you say to them right now in terms of getting prepared for that season? Could be monetary considerations, could be you know from a playing perspective, what some advice they have? Yeah, this season is going to be strange to you because of the way that some people are going to start with points in some art so maybe a little different. But I think the first thing I would do is I would go back. A lot of us playing online, as you wellknow, and all of us who have who've gone through it well now, is an incredibly different experience from playing in person. Pull your cards back out, make sure that you're shuffling well, make sure that you and play some IRL Games, if that means you have to get on with your homie and do it over the you know, over skype or zoom or whatever program you use, play those IRL games. Make sure that you're checking your prizes, make sure that you know every card in your deck, make sure that you're calculating the, you know, sort of simple odds that you need to calculate in your head and get used to those skills. One of the hardest things for me about playing online, and I think I've heard you talk about this before, JW, is that when I am playing online it is so easy to go on autopilot and let the game like run itself and let the game just like draw your seven cards and to forget the like little text that might make might make you lose the game right, to like involved, to drizzle and not remember that you can't then retreat because you have like the stadium that allows rapid strikes, to retreat the tower. Sure. Yeah, those kind of mistakes are so easy to make when you're on autopilot, and playing online really lends itself to...

...autopilot. So get off the boutopilot, get back, you know, into the physicality of the game and practice, you know, shuffling, drawing and playing real games. I think that would be the very first thing I would do and I would start doing that as soon as you can. I think that will make a huge difference and I think you're going to see, and like the first tournaments, be at regionals or whatever, you're going to see those players who kind of rest in the other laurels and I've been playing online come to those tournaments and feel like, oh my gosh, this is weird. It doesn't feel you know, I haven't done this in a while. Before the most recent set, before tag team had that tag team, excuse me, tricky Jim, had the tournament at full grip for this rotation. I was playing some camera games with, like with a couple friends who went to that tournament and it was like Whoa playing playing first off, it's so fun in a different way. Yeah, also, you get rusty, man, it happens. It absolutely does. Yeah, I find myself during that whole event just kind of playing cards and it just felt a little just I don't know how to describe it really, other than awkward, like it was like, yeah, I was playing things down and and retreating and it like didn't quite feel right and I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but it was like, yeah, I hadn't actually played with physical cards for you know, this is the longest period of time since I've been playing competitively that I hadn't actually played with physical cards. Well, and if you pop your fifty dollars or sixty or seventy, whatever it's going to be for a regional, and you show up to a regional and that's how you feel, you don't want that to be your first experience, you know, you want it to be smooth, to feel like a routine. So that would that would be my first first tip for the sort of seasoned player. The other thing is I would go back log again. Make sure your account looks good, make sure you know how many points you have and and as soon as we sort of figure out the points structure, that was one thing I was always super on top of when I was chasing world's was like how many points do I need? How many events do I need to get there? How many events do I know that? I'm just going to like look, I I don't think any of us go to every League Cup, the even the best of us, and just get top eight every time, unless you live in sort of an isolated area where there's you know, your league cups are small or whatever. Yeah, I really have to plan for my League Cups and plan to fail at some and Fan to learn from this failures. So start mapping out ahead of time, like okay, what's my game plan? And remember that world is in London, like that's going to be a money investment right to get to London. So start whatever savings that looks if you need to, you know, cut back a little bit or not buy every single card and start putting aside a little bit for London, like make sure that you can go, because that's a big financial consideration just to get over there. Yeah, Oh, it sure is, it sure is. It's huge. So you talk a little bit about kind of mapping your route. I think that's a really big thing for players to do. Walk us through how you do that and what are your considerations like when you're saying, okay, I have to earn x number of points from League cups. You know what is that x number of points? And again, let's just hypothesize that it was. You know, we're starting from zero, as if it was the season that got canceled halfway through. Yeah, but you're hypothesizing. Okay, I need this many league cups to reasonably achieve, you know, this amount of points, and then I need to spike a tournament, maybe a regionals or something like. How do you conceptualize that? So at the beginning of season, assuming, assuming we're starting from the beginning of a season, the first thing I did all the time was I looked at the regionals and say, okay, how many of these regionals can I reasonably make? It too lots of considerations for that. For me personally, finance being one, driving or flying distance being another, affordability, and also for me I'm a married man and have three kids. So how much can I get away being away from my wife and kids? And that changed once I had more kids. It was fewer of events. So I think for me I would go to my wife and say, Hey, here are the events for the year. How many regionals can I make? And based on that I could usually get a pretty good idea. I think having a self awareness, like I know that I'm not somebody who's going to go to a regionals. I'm not saying it'll never happen. It's a goal, obviously, but when I was chasing world's, I was usually not going to go to regionals and top for it. You know, a top eight it right. However, I'd say I don't know. Five out of eight of them I would probably get day two's and and probably two of those I get top thirty two or something like that. So, knowing that, I could sort of put a number on like okay, well, that's x amount of points. So then what I need to hit every quarter and lead cups and leak challenges. I'll say this. Don't skip out on the leak challenges. Man Like I have. I I know people who just like there's a player, and I'm not going to call this person out, who went to regionals and got a really high Finich, or wasn't originals, it was a like an intercomminental and got a really high finish and then but it was it was like the last one before worlds and didn't make it because they just hadn't played like a leak challenge. Like it was like that much of a difference. And so make sure you hitting those...

...league challenges. Make sure you know when they are. You know, make sure you know the stores in your area and like what your radius is. Right. So when I was in Kenton, I knew that, like, Columbus was kind of the far edge of Columbus and Pittsburgh were kind of the far edge and if you drew a circle around those two places, I could hit any of the cups and challenges reasonably in that distance. And and I also think, like, look, I'm a big proponent of gaming the system and don't think of it as gaming the system and I'm not saying cheating by any ways. What I'm saying is, if you know there's a League Cup out of you know, Po dump towns wherever, well, if you if it's going to take you an extra hour, but you don't have to go to three league cups next to home. On first off, you're supporting the store and the people there and I always try to buy stuff from the store when I go there. And second off, like you might have a little bit of better of a chance to win, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Sure, absolutely, absolutely. I also find you're talking about radius. Yeah, I also find that some of these events aren't very well publicized, and I don't know if you've also found that, but it's like there are some events where you really will only know about them if you're on the facebook page of the event, you know, store organizer or whatever it is, and so that would be another thing. As you talked about radius, is like no, you're radius, but then also beyond all these facebook groups, so that you get the notifications of, you know, hey, they cancel the tournament or they added a tournament or you know, because sometimes they just don't publicize those things and it's kind of frustrating. But yeah, it is what it is. So No, and I think a lot of stores are migrating to discord, discord and facebook. But yeah, and your discord. Be an active participant and and like, I don't think it hurts, you know, be an active participant in the store. Make sure they know who you are. Being comfortable in a store. Man, that makes a huge difference. I so wife's families from Philadelphia area and occasionally when we were out there in vacation I'd go try to hit up like a League Cup there and it was so weird being like the the person nobody knew who I was and the outsider gets into top eight. Everybody's kind of looking at funny and just that like little pressure sometimes was like not as fun and made it harder to perform than it was at like the locals. Some I do think it's good to know your store owners, know the details of the store, when they're open, how many people usually show up, and if you can know the players who show up and what kind of decks they like to play, all the better, right. Sure, sure, comfortability is huge. Yeah, so what would you say for maybe a newer a newer player that is like never gone before me? We're talking about routing, but routing the world's maybe that's not even their goal. Maybe it's just to play in events, you know, yea in a few events. Like what if some advice that you would have to to a newer player that's like, I'm not you know, maybe they're not even sure that they necessarily want to go to in person, whether they're scared about that. You know they're no're not sure what to expect. Like what are some things you would say to a player that's never played before in a competitive sphere? I do think that the first thing you should do is start with your local store league challenge. Go to the League challenge, try to try to go with a friend or meet somebody there ahead of time and make sure you have the rules down the time. Like play some time games ahead of time where you you know if you're going too slowly. So I appreciated this at the time. I appreciated this now, but I didn't super at the time. My first league challenge I ever went to, I was playing a deck and I was playing against a deck that was like manipulating my hand a lot and really messing with the flow of the way that my deck engined and it made the game really hard and I was playing slowly and my opponent was like really nagging me to play faster, but I was playing incredibly slow, not on purpose, just because I didn't know better. Um. So, like learn those things, learn how to shuffle properly, learn as many of the rules aheadache time and practice those things ahead of time. Go to your locals, take the time to meet the people there and just get used to the pace of a tournament, because that can be a real like, you know, sending you to the back of your seat if you're not used to it right. Um. And then the other thing is if you're a new player WHO's okay, I've got those things down, but I want to start seeing success. I'm going to quote Owen and a phrase that owned said to me when so owen maybe was a little well known at some point, and he would admit this, that he loved to go to leak challenges and just like dominate all the new players for a while and like and and, because he was a, you know, somewhat accomplished player at that time and know enough about the game to just go to locals and dominate. And he was doing this to me when I first started playing and it was kind of frustrating me and I said, man, like, what am I going to do? And he's like be lame when game was the thing he said to me. I was like what he's talking about? He's like, you're trying to play all these decks that you're making up. Just go find the top Meta deck, you know, Shell out the dollars for the one top Meta deck and play that in a couple of tournaments and see how it be lame. Don't try to like reinvent the wheel. That's a good advice, I think, for some season players who were looking for success, like yeah, there are times where you'll find that anti metadeck that works and is really good. But most of us aren't goinging to be like tour breckleve and be able to like turn the meadow on its head when...

...we go to every tournament. Most of us are going to have to pick up, you know, the the top two or three decks and learn how to play those really well, learn how to play a top deck really well and start taking those two challenges and cups and you'll find really quickly that, and I have trouble falling this because I'm like to be inventive and create DEX and stuff, but that's going to be a huge boon. But Boon for you, and you're on one, is just learning to play the good decks, understanding the matter and then if you want to go back and make those those decks that go against the Meta, you understand them at a better you understand how to write the decks that you're that you need to beat. I absolutely agree. I think some people get a little too lost in the sauce or they're trying to come up with a deck that counters everything that they could possibly see when in reality, as you like, even when you go to regionals and stuff. You could you could try to do that and the chances of you hitting into that matchup. You know that you're so worried about that you're overteching for that you're building. You know, the deck around are like sometimes very minimal. You know. Yeah, it's pretty crazy how much people can really, you know, go against maybe the the natural rules of deck building, you know, keep it kind of straightforward and simple and consistent, to try to overtach or overmanage for all these other decks. So that's good ter see it. What you said is that the deck that the usually the deck that counters all the decks, is the number one deck. Right, like it wouldn't be number one if it wasn't, you know, right. And that's not to say that people don't find decks and and you know, I've seen you do it some of your Sol decks. I've seen lots of players do it that that do count a lot of things. And and I'm not saying don't be inventive and don't build those decks, like I'm actually a fan of like build every deck that you have time for and try them. But it is to say that the tough decks are tough decks for a reason. Right, like single strike or she fu with umbre on right now. It counters most things and it counters it because if it's power and it's not like maybe the flashiest deck and the well, it's flashy but it's maybe not the most, like sauciest deck in the worm, but it works. Sure, absolutely. So what would you say to a player with a kid or with multiple kids that's trying to make their, you know, presence felt on the competitive scene? What would you say to them that has to juggle those finances like and has to juggle cards? You know, they want to play good decks and they also want their kids to play good decks. Like. What some advice you would have for them? So, in terms of finances, the first thing I would say is, like, bring your kid to stuff. If you have a junior player, bring your kid to stuff and and make your kid not get attached to the stuff that they win. I'm not saying don't let them keep any of their winnings, but explain to them, Hey, like, you're a junior player, you're going to win a lot of prizing because often junior player events just aren't filled as much as masters or seniors. And so you're going to win stuff like play mats and like, yeah, we're going to keep some of those, but sometimes we're going to have to put those back into the game, and that means putting putting them up on Ebay and selling them. I'm a big proponent of like use the stuff you make. Like, yes, obviously, if you want a tournament, you could financial rewards, but sometimes rewards aren't financial, their packs or their cards or their mats, and yet to keep some of that stuff, keep your trophies, but if you can part with it, I think you have to resell stuff. And then when you're trying to play for not just one player but two players, if you need a finances to do it, I think you're going to have to be honest with your kids and say and get them involved with the process, like teach them some financial responsibility in this way. As soon as my kids start to play and get involved with this stuff, I'm going to be doing this with them. Or I'm going to say, Hey, you won three mats and your you don't need them right. Let's let's list one of those and let's teach you how to do it and let's, you know, make a little bit more money so that we can then enter you into another two or three tournaments. Sure, sure. Or you say, Hey, this is you know, you want a box, right, for just showing up to an event. Sorry, there's a dad tax. Yeah, you know, beat play the government role. Just I'm a big I'm a big Fan of the dad tax in all aspects. Well, Halloween's coming up. I know that was my my dad's favorite dad tax. You know. YEA investment there. So cool. Well, very good. So, yeah, any other any other closing pieces of advice that you would give to any player rob as they're looking to get back into competitive yeah, hang in there. I'm a big proponent of getting the vaccine in order that you can play. I know you guys talked about that in your last pod. Get the vaccine hanging there and and don't forget to make it fun for yourself, whatever that looks, whatever amount of playing or whatever level it is for you. Don't forget that the reason why we all come to this game is because we want to enjoy ourselves, and so don't lose sight of that. Absolutely well, great, it was so nice to have you on Rob Super Nice to be here. Thank you so much for having me. Any shoutouts or any plugs that you want to give? Of course, heat factory podcast. You guys should go check that out if you haven't anything else you want to go a plug or say yeah, or some of us on twitter. We're at heat factory pod on twitter and I think Ohen does really good with the contact with the content there. You can follow me. I'm at rob the PO IT on twitter and I post about poetry,...

Pokemon, whatever comes to mind there. And Yeah, keep listening to tag team weekly, because you guys do a really good job with your content and we appreciate any listeners we get from this and we appreciate the opportunity to be on here. So that's really great to have you, Rob and well, hopefully, you know, talk to you soon. I mean don't be a stranger, of course. You know. That's great to like I said earlier'd be great to grab a beer at our at our first regionals of the season, you know. And Yeah, four months or something. So definitely looking forward to it and definitely shout out to Riley, who I would have loved to talk to you tonight and have talked to in the past. Obviously, but I hope he's doing well and hope everything's going over the job tonight. So Great. Well, thank you, guys all, so much for listening. It's been a pleasure. Rob We will catch you next week, same time, same place. If you want to see us live, twitch DOTV munner. Normally we're on, you know, my channel Flex Dady righteous right now, but you can also find our stuff over on our youtube channel, tag team Pokemon podcast. You can also find us on twitter. That's at smiles with riles, with for Riley Hulbert, that's at Real John Walter for myself, and at tag team Pokemon for the cast. We look forward to providing you more great content in weeks to come, and that's going to be all for us today. Thank you, guys, so much for listening. We'll catch soon.

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