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Tag Team Pokemon TCG Podcast
Tag Team Pokemon TCG Podcast

Season 2, Episode 24 · 1 year ago

2-24. The Meta Knights

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

The boys deep dive into their thoughts on the meta at large. How is Pokemon doing? What could be changed? Riley and JW are very opinionated on this..

Hey, how's it going, everybody? Welcome back to tag team, the POKEMON trading card games for me orpodcasting duo. My name is Riley Hulbert, joined by my good, good friendJW Curry. Wall JW hasn't hanging man. It is hanging pretty well, Riley. I'm getting ready for my big vacation. Yeah, yeah,we are going to the upper peninsula of Michigan for a week. Next weekI will be phoneless. Twitter, lists, instagram. I don't really use instagram, facebook with Bro I do have an Instagram, but I don't knowhow to utilize instagram. INSTAGRAM is a very foreign I just recently learned howto use twitter and I don't think that's true. Well, I use itappropriately, sure, yeah, so used appropriately, but for Instagram, Ijust don't know what I would put. I did create an instagram with theidea that I would like post like card pictures, because apparently instagram is areally good way to connect with people. I know people just like high qualityhard seller Marquez. Well, yeah, that's why I'm saying but I justdon't I don't know. I don't discord. I don't really understand that much.Dumb. So it's all. It's a mess over here in then flexdaddy lands. Yeah, I don't know if I mentioned this on the cast, but one of my favorite things is when you and Andrew are trying toget a stream going and like need to figure out how discord works. Tome, the discord interface just isn't intuitive. It is so intuitive and bro theokay for real work. You know it'll be like eight am. I'mat work and all the CE posts on my phone, like of you andAndrew trying to get discard don't work like in the discord chat, and I'llpop in in the discord chat. This is a little insider info for allthe listeners. So we have like a discord channel that all of our likefriend group uses and there's a ton of voice channels in it and one ofthem I specifically made for JW Andrew to use while streaming because it has atwo person limit on the voice channel so no one can like pop in thereand mess with them. They have literally never used it. I every timeI fought, except for one time, and I don't know how you evendo that. How do you get there precisely one time and never use itagain? Bro, we did it. We did it that one time.Yeah, we're fine, we're fine. We're learning. We're learning. Imean you you can teach an old dog new tricks. It takes a while, though. No, it does, because we're set in our ways.You know, I when I grew up, I had to fight for my thirtyminutes of AOL Messenger every night. You know, I had to usedial up. You know it. It's a different world, like I grewup before the Internet. So I'm not really I mean really bro like.We had a computer class, like your sad shit compared to be you're justwe had we had a computers is mostly just play, like I spy hauntedhouse on the computer. Yeah, you know, forty five minutes, likewe didn't really do anything in computer class. You're like not even that much olderthan me, and you're technically like fivezero years old. I'm just saying. I'm just saying. We had dial up. You know, is differentworld, as different time. Twenty seven years ago, I mean I wastwo years old and playing Freddy the fish, you know, straight out of theshade of the womb. Yeah, you know, okay, I'm playFreddie Fish. No, you know, like you know that whole genre,like the Freddy Fish and the Pajamas Sam's and I was I was just goingto bring up with Jami Sama. So they're the same idea occupied on thesame space. I don't know if I's say company. Okay, yeah,and then there's I love you, the pot put as well. I lovedPajamas Sam Jamison was good. Yeah, I sometimes I like want to goback and like find those games. I I haven't found like a good resourcefor that. There was one that I really used to like where it waslike they they were adventurers and it was this adventure game, but it's scaledso there was like a first grade through like a twelve grade or something,but you were going on different adventures every grade and it was something about Iremember the one that I was in. I think it was like this volcanotype thing. I really miss it because I remember having a really good timeand actually learning something from it. Yeah, but my favorite game it was likea flash game. I remember I think I was on, you know, funny junk or something. Yeah, and it was this monkey pilot gameand you use the Arrow keys and you control your monkey and he's in aspaceship and he he collides around and you're trying to avoid the spikes and landyour monkey on the platform. Wait,...

...do you know what I'm talking about? No, I don't. Okay, chat, help me out. Whatam I talking about here? What's The monkey game? I will say,though, you know discord. You know it is a little new age,but you are still you are young enough to occupy that age group. FunkyLander, bro My monkey lander, unkey lander, many clip. Wow,okay, we might have to play the time stream was quite the genre.What I was going to say is my flash game of choice kind of almostlike an ancestor to a discord in a way. It was club Penguin,you know, you just gave in with the boys and chatting on the clientlike in a way, like occupied the same realm. Sure, sure Iam. I my browser game of choice was unreal tournament. Or my mycomputer game of choice is unreal tournament and quake and all that. That wasamazing. Yeah, I know it's amazing. I never played any of that stuff. So maybe really, okay, a completely different space than me.It's like we lived on two different earths. Yeah, it really isn't so divinginto it, though, I think we have some cool updates on theplayers cup going on. Obviously the second week just happened and players continue toadvance. Honestly, the Meta state about the same in terms of representation.I think there are some notable callouts. So your deck is locked in rightover the course of the event, like the whole the whole way through weekone and week two, because it is high double elimination tournament. Tournament,isn't I was going to say I'm pretty sure it is locked in. Soactually, with the way you were talking earlier, I was right to start, wasn't it? Yeah, I guess you were. Yeah, I guessyou were. Okay, so for contacts, we were looking at the charts thatPOKEMON TCG had tweeted out, because that's the only that's the only onlyinsight we have into the Players Cup, like as at macro level, andwe're talking about some of the trends between chart to chart and we we're CHRwe're like mildly debating about whether it represented like success or representation. But nowthat we're talking about it more, I think they actually are the same thing, right. Yeah, you're right, you're right. So let's dive intoit. So when week one we saw some I don't know about standard stats, you know, probably about what you'd expect, pretty in line with whatwe said would be the representation of these decks. So you have peak Ramand Dragon Pole both occupying about twenty to twenty five percent every the next mostpopular deck being sash and Variance Combo and ATP occupying another like seventeen percent.And then you had let's Cephalon taking thirteen and then just the rest of thedecks, I guess, obstacle or another other yeah, so everything else justoccupied the rest of the meadows. So mute and others, as she invariance, install treks and spiritumb, you know, stuff we all know and love.Week two was a little more concentrated, which is in some ways to beexpected as you go over the course of a tournament. Like the bestdeck will separate itself. People Rom saw a pretty massive surge in popularity betweenwe want, a week to dragon full saw a slight increase, going fromtwenty three to twenty five. I would say that's, you know, incroterms, it's probably about the same. Yeah, pekerm though, jumping fromnineteen to twenty six percent. That's a lot of success for peak rom playersat this event. Yeah, it is. It is. I think it speaksto the consistency of the deck. You look at just, you know, the amount of things that you need to do and and what you canaccomplish on a first turn. I think like peak rom has maybe the bestearly game of any of these decks. You know, you look at ATPvariants and like they're going to just pass a turn. You know that's that'salmost a guarantee with most of the Zosh Index. Same with like a blissFilon, like they're going to pass a turn, maybe two, maybe eventhree, and then obviously drag a polt like you're just you're given up thatfirst turn to your best first turn that you can possibly get with dragon ballis attached pass. And so if you look at Peak Rom and it hasthis insane turn one potential, and so I think you look at that andit makes a lot of sense why it did so well and why it performedwell, you know, into the second week of competition. Yeah, Imean it really drives home the same kind of things that we've been talking aboutabout Peka Ram just being consistent, about being a beast and really putting pressureon deck so fast that, especially in...

...a double elimination style tournament where youknow you can't afford to lose, really it's just a really solid choice forthat event. Right. So it doesn't surprise me at all to seep Kurrambe overrepresented, overrepresented in the second week relative to the first, just becauseit's so consistent that more and more players will likely succeed on average with PKurm relative to other decks. Maybe maybe dad's like a lower ceiling. Idon't really think it's that much lower ceiling. Yeah, no, I wouldn't saythat, but I definitely think that some lists were pretty interesting. Idid see a few of the list. I I can't remember who this speaksto. What Wallace is asking in the chat. This speaks to, youknow, do we know who made it? And POKEMON hasn't publicly put out decklistsor players that finished in the top, you know, moving on to thenext, you know, week of competition. But I've seen some ofthe list from players in certain areas and just like the ways that you canconstruct pe Kuram have been really cool and I've seen, you know, listwith for tag calls. I've seen a lot of lists that have shifted awayfrom the to bolt on going down the just one, having that as kindof your late game finisher, but kind of relegating it to more of aRye Schue, Rye Shue spot, where it's like you're not really relying onbolt on to win you the game, but it's just that auxiliary attack thatyou have. So a lot of I would say, from the some ofthe list that I've seen, like even still there's some innovation to be hadwith the Peaka Chun Zekram list. Yeah, and P Kuram is just a greatdeck to innovate with because it's got some just simple core to it thatyou can pretty much fill the void with whatever else you want. I meanpeople even realistically, can play decks like Green Speak Ram, which is soundssilly at times, but other times three people like doing well with it,at least sure relatively speaking. So I you know, at the end ofthe day, p Grama is just such a simple deck that you know it'llfind this consistent success time after time. I mean realistically, since since teamup came out, peak gram has been the most consistently played deck. Yeah, and I mean it's cool you can go GERACI, you can go noGeraci, can go green, you can go vultner, you can go,you know, heavy Didnn a, you can go light that. Then Imean if there's a lot of ways that you can heavy, tag call,no, tag call. I mean there's just so many ways that you canplay the deck that you can really adapt it to what what you feel kindof fits your needs, fits your metagame, fits, you know, the waythat you conceptualize the deck. That's really great. So I think,you know, we were talking about this heading into the Players Cup, thatwe feel pikachuns o gram was just going to be a general choice for thatearly game aggression, that it can provide the kind of general consistency, Iwould say that it has in relation to a lot of the other decks and, you know, kind of the ease of acquiring cards for someone that youknow maybe was generating a lot of tickets but didn't have a tier one deck. I mean, I think that was I don't want to say that that'sa lot of players, but certainly there are those players that have, youknow, likely advanced past week two that just maybe, you know, playeda lot of played a lot of tcg oh, but didn't really use Metadecks and like maybe had to turn to something a little bit more standardized.So for those reasons, you know, you're looking at pictures our promise asbeing a really strong choice heading into the Players Cup and proving US right.Yeah, and one thing I do find interesting is how centralized this Meta reallygot. In the second week of play we saw all of the niche decks. So if you take all this option variance, the will stephalon's, theDragon Bolts and the Pika choose, they took up more of a Meta atlarge, and then the rest of the Meta keeps shrinking. One thing Ifound especially interesting was the other decks, which comprised a huge amount of things, I'm sure, just shrink to two thirds of what it was before.So that's a pretty substantial dip, I mean, to me what that saysis the meadows is very centralized right now. The decks are clearly defined as beingthe best decks and you know, if you're playing it's like kind ofone of those weird Metas, or it's like if you're playing outside these liketop four decks, it's almost like you're trolling yourself right, right well,and you look at it. I mean they're so far in a way better, in my opinion, then a lot of the other decks, like justthe the since I've played like we've never, well, I don't want to saynever, but I haven't really seen this kind of quality across the boardfrom the top, you know, for dex just being head and shoulders really, in my eyes, above the rest of the field, like it's almostnot even close, and a lot of times it's not even fair. Youknow, you look at like counter decks like Obstacon, where the most playeddeck has like a reasonable s shot at beating obstacon. You know, PeKhurram like has a reasonable shot of beating...

...obstacle in any given matchup. Andthat's just that's just wild. Like it just takes aren't even counters to thebest decks that reliably win. So these top four decks being, you know, Pe k Ram, Dragon, Paul, Cephalon and then as option variant,really taken control, like you said, of the metagame and there's almost well, there's no reason to really play anything else. Yeah, and youknow, if you look at the numbers and that kind of way, Ithink a lot of meadows will paint a similar story where there's, you know, clearly some better decks, and that's just the nature of Card Games,right. I think Pokemon is actually done a relatively good job of spreading thelove, like, you know right. I would say like four variance ofdecks being like the main Meta is a pretty reasonable amount. Like. Yeah, when you look at things like other card games, Yugioh and magic,they've had a lot of meadows recently, even where it's been one deck,and that's sure, sure, maybe too so, you know, I liketo get pokemon. It's credit, but the Meta is fairly centralized and whenyou have such a diverse array of decks and a cast of characters like Pokemon, and I think that almost is what makes the centralized in Meta in Pokemonfeel like a little worse, just because there's so many like beloved characters inthe series rooms that like when you don't get to use your favorite ones,it just feels kind of although, to be fair, counterpoint, you know, Pokemon is able to double up or sometimes triple up with the TAG teamcards. Well, they used to be able. Yeah, now now thoseare canceled. Right, exactly. It's another victim of twenty canceled culture.Yeah, there goes the tag teams said some mean things on twitter. That'sright. Yeah, so, I mean overall, I think. I thinkit's probably a fine direction, like the Meta, is probably not ridiculously unhealthy. Can't say I'm a huge fan of exactly where it is right now,though. Just the game is your Pole, and we've talked about this before onthe cast and off. I just I don't like these gigantic pokemon andjust swinging back for multiple prizes at each other all the time. Yeah,yeah, especially as I played more and more of these old formats, likeusing tabletop simulator and yeah, and just like you know, talking with myfriends online, I really prefer when the game takes us slower stance and,you know, sure course, to evolve and route your prizes really methodically.Like, Yep, I will say what this Meta is done better than morerecent ones. It's there's last one shotting outside of like the Cephalon, there'snot really much one shot and going on. I Guess Sa she is like oneshotting things for three prizes on the addings. Yeah, sure, sure, but you know, I think at least the concept of multi hit chaosis a is a good direction. But, like when I think of the mostfun meadows to play, I think of ones where you actually have totake six price cards. You need to figure out how you're going to dothat. Six attacks. You mean I because I mean obviously we're taking sixprize cards on six POKMON. Yeah, those are my favorite Metas to play. Yeah, by far and away. I really enjoy like figure out thoseroutes, thinking about resources, and none of that stuff really feels like courseto mine. I mean, Plesim's the only deck that I think really devotesbrain power to resources, and it's only because it tosses them all away inthe process of one shotting. Yeah, right, right, and I thinksomething that some of the older formats to do really well, also, atleast in the GX era, is kind of you contrast like this very powerfulpokemon with it's very average and weak basic, and so there's some opportunity to kindof cut the head off before you know the damage can be done.And you know, in a sense, like you can, you can reallyget after this a Ruas, because when lot harder and they get really strong, but they're kind of vulnerable for that one turn. We don't really seethat a ton in this metagame. Yeah, it's we're almost there's that vulnerability whereyou know you can, you can really disrupt an opponent before they canget going. Well, what I was going to say is, besides thesash index, that take multiple extra prizes, you know, the two prize versusthe three prize for some of those views and B Max is doesn't reallymake a difference in some cases. Yes, you know you're still going to haveto take either two or three knockouts, depending on which one you're K owing. So, yeah, it's just kind of feels rough. And oneother thing, actually looping back to gx, has, and we talked about thislast week I think, but you know, being able to control likethe prizes on your board a little more, both in the even and odd directions. So if you want to only have one prize is on your boardwith the gx deck, you can do that. You know, just haveyour basics fill the board. If you...

...want to only have two prizes,that's also a thing. Like if you're at if your opponents taken by prizes, you just evolve all yours. Of Rua is like put your lay laydown to fill your bench and you know now you have these big guys thatyou need to take an extra frize that play the seven prize game like tI feel like a lot of this nuance is just not here right now.I and I don't know what necessarily has caused it, but it feels lesssatisfying to me. I'M NOT gonna lie. HMM. Yeah, I wonder ifthere were any bands that, I mean just this is all like hypotheticaland like retrospect, like if there was a band that you could make tothis metagame. Do you think that there is a band that would solve theproblems? And if there is, what would you ban? It's not reallyI mean, if you had to ban anything, it would probably be ATPjust because it's stifles out all the one prize decks. But I feel likewe're drag a POL almost kind of does the same thing. Yeah, know, in a different way. It takes a different route to also choking outlike smaller decks. Yeah, so I don't know if I have a goodanswer. I think one of the been and to pokemons credit, one ofthe better things about pokemon that Pokemon and magic both share is the rotation systemand in theory, the rotation system allows you to dial back the power levelof the format because you can print some cards that will temporarily be crap andthen you rotate out the cards that are overpowered and then the game is likein a better state again. Yeah, but I don't think is happening,though, is I don't think pokemon actually takes advantage of the system that isput in place for itself. Like rotation is allowed them to experiment with things, like we did tag teams for a rotation and now we're doing these andv Max's for rotation. Who knows what's the next mechanical do? But insteadof like using that as opportunities to like move the power level up and out, it just keeps going up, which isn't, in my opinion, theway to handle it. Like why even have a rotation at the power levelof the cars is just going to get higher and higher. Right, right, exactly. That's that's a really, really good point, and to seeyou would like to see pokemon kind of like move in that middle ground,maybe trend upwards, because you know, generally like more HP and more poweris like going to sell more cards. You know, I think that's justthe general thought. Like you look at it, a card that has topokemon on it and that's cooler than the card that just has one pokemon onit or a card that does so. You know, tag teams were insaneamount of damage. Card that doesn't. But you would like to see thebalance in a way that things could come back and things can dial back,and it does feel like we're on this runaway train in a sense that we'rekind of careening off and like going upwards at this exponential rate. Do youthink that a more vmax dominated metagame will solve any of these issues that we'retalking about with this current Meta? I mean I definitely, I definitely thinkv Max is were a better idea than tag teams in terms of yeah,like game balance. I think tag teams were cooler cards, yeah, butI think v Max is are potentially better designed cards. And you know,any cop that that comes back to what we were talking about with like thisGx Ara, where you could evolve, you know, again going back tolike I threw it's a Zor arc. You know, it's just it's abetter kind of idea there, where you have to choose whether or not toevolve your v Max or not. But I don't Think v Max is areas good as the evolving gx is. I think evolving gx is are probablyone of the better mechanics they've done in the last few years and on thewhole, I think black and white was really the turning point where afterwards thingsstarted to really ramp up. So, you know, it's hard to sayright now. I don't none of the v Max's are like so insane thatthey you know, just destroy everything and Yeah, blow everything out the water. Dragon puls really the only one that has that problem, I guess,if you want to call it that. So I think the Max has havethe potential to like slow the game a little bit, but you know,we still run the same problem. We have gigantic Pokemon that give multiple prizesand I don't I think the way that Pokemon is designing their cards, they'vekind of rabbit hold themselves where now you keep digging deeper and deeper as likeyour mechanism to solve the problem, and it extends beyond the Multi Price Pokemon. To write, because the single price pokemon have to do more damage andhave more HP to deal with. These giant Pokemon to even be a viablething at all. Right, and so, you know, because the single pricepokemon are also escalating, like there's no basis to d escalate the problem. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I mean in a sense you could see, or at least I can see in the current Meta, where they didtry to have that balance, and that comes in the form of bliss CEPHALONand spirit tomb. I mean those are our prominent one prizes, but youcan see they're kind of the gears turning, I think, you know really withcard design and, you know,...

...focus and things like this. Solet's Cephalon just being able to have that one shot potential, but maybe notas not as cost efficient in those one prize matchups. Like you look atthe Blis cephalon versus Malamar matchup when that was a thing, and we'll cephalonjust couldn't even compete really, and so I felt like Bill Cephalon, youknow, love it or hate it, is this kind of, yeah,savior of this format in the sense that it does allow for, you know, if, yeah, I just certain things were banned like it, orcertain things weren't created like it would allow for maybe a little more healthy ofa metagame. I don't know. I say maybe, but you know,if we live in a world or Bevi with Stephan is currently the only viablesingle prize archetype, like maybe we'll cephalon itself is just also a problematic card, you know, but I mean it, in my opinion, it really isn'tlike you need so many pieces to Combo. Well, with baby blithCephalon, I mean they gave it a lot of tools. So okay,there's there's that, like it's pretty insane the amount of stuff you can doit baby's left on deck. But you do need a lot of combo piecesand anyone turn, and I think that's barely, you know, fairly reasonableto give that kind of card those amount of tools against what it has togo against in these vmax and tag team pokemon. Yeah, I guess.I I guess I would agree more if they were like actual one prize archetypes. That would punish the cost inefficiency of it. Well, that's and that'swhat again, that's why I'm saying, like when you look back at theformat where Bliss Flon and like a deck like Malamar were two big contenders,you know, you couldn't take a bliss flon deck to a tournament that hadMalamar because it just wouldn't perform well. Like the the ratio of energy toprizes was just too bad for the Blis cephalon player. And so like yousee a tepee kind of stifling out and zostion prism combos option kind of stiflingout those one prize decks like a Malamar. So I don't know. I againin that kind of rotates back to what you were talking about. Maybeif you ban an ATP or something, then you have like a rise orresurgence of a deck like Malamar or something. But yeah, that's neither here northere. Yeah, I mean I think if we had to point atone card that is strangling them at at all, I think it's probably ATP. Just by virtue of his existence. It makes yeah, yeah, Ithink dragon poll again reiterating, I think drag a Pol will have a similareffect where it can continue spread damage, especially like having an evolving one prizedeck against Drago Pole. Like that sounds horrible, sure you know. Yeah, Imagine with Finger Candy Against Dragon poll man. That sounds awful. Likeyeah, yeah, you're definitely gonna have a bad time. I don't know. I think the problem is, you know, even though a rotation intheory allows you to dial back power levels, to do that you need to printsets of unsatisfying cards, like the cards need to be substantially weak orfor multiple sets in a row, which means that the Meta won't change forthe duration of those sets being added to the game. You know what I'msaying? So, yeah, and not only that, like from a salesperspective, like if I'm a businessman trying to sell my pokemon cards, youknow I don't want to print cards that are worse. You know, who'sgonna buy those? Right, right, right. Yeah, I mean it'sdefinitely a tough it's a tough spot, I feel like, just in generalfor for Card Games, like you said, like they're stuck between this, youknow, okay, how do you you know? We go from thesegx has that are pretty pretty strong compared to what we had before, andthen, okay, now we go into tag teams and then, okay,now we have v Max has, unless, like, the HP gets higher andthe attacks get, you know, more crazy and like, I don'tknow, I'm a little fearful, but what happens next? Yeah, thatand help if we think about, you know, whether it be a newmechanic or just more pokemon vmax. Like I'Mok got to say a little bitconcerned about what we will see in the next year or two when the newmechanics come out, because on the current trend, you know, we're seeingin post rotation, at least that kind of testing ground, that there aren'treally a ton of viable certainly not a ton of viable one prize decks.I think it's it is going to be centered or a lot around the Vmaxpokemon and just what does that mean for the game and does that make thegame anymore or less fun? And I think the answer is less fun.I'm optimistic, but it's just you look past that to and just thinking aboutthe power creep where could take us, and it's pretty scary. Yeah,it is. I mean I really don't want to see the day where Ifor prize pokemon get friended, yeah,...

...you know, eventually, or justhave a five prize poke abond. You know, you like a six partI mean I mean realistically, like a six price pokemon. You know,you knock this one out, like it would be it'd be incorporated like maybewith the raid mechanic where you know, you just have this massive Giganta Maxand it takes you know, you knock it out and takes all six prises. It has like a thousand health or something. I mean that that's seemedsomething very reasonable that could happen. Yeah, it could be like a legend kindof card where you like take two cards and make it one. OhGod, yeah, I'm giving them an idea. You know, will cutthat in post. I guess I can see. So I like see thatit is the worst part, like a two part really nice hollow card thatis worth like six prizes and it has like seven hundred Elf. You know. Yeah, I regret even like saying it and bring speaking it into existence, into the sphere of my work existence. So yeah, yeah, massive regretsthere. You know, that's not to say I hate pokemon. LikePokmon is still my favorite card game to play. It's still my favorite game, it's my favorite series. I just I think it's a natural problem thatcard games run into and it's a really hard one to to manage. Yeah, you know, I I don't know if there's a solution fundamentally to theproblem of Balancing Card Games. Yeah, I mean it it may be.It comes down to I think one thing that we're looking at like again inthis post rotation metagame is like, you're not really something that we've had inthe past that you're not seeing heading into the future are these counter cards.These have balanced the game throughout my ten years in the game, where it'slike, you know, if your pokemon was knocked out, then you doan additional amount of damage, like a retaliate kind of attack or, youknow, a copy kind of attack that would hit a pokemon for weakness,and they're a little bit more splashable. I think about things like mimic youor to rake in or Dru Dagon, if anyone remembers that from like fiveor six years ago. But these kind of retaliate attacks that can be poweredup fairly efficiently, counter gain or like a double colorless or, you know, an energy and a some way to accelerate, but just being able tohit those weaknesses that otherwise that deck couldn't hit, to keep the deck alivein certain matchups that it otherwise wouldn't have the ability to overcome, and that'ssomething that I'm seeing here in this sword and shield era of cards that islacking, like we really aren't seeing these kind of retaliate attacks being printed,or at least splashable attackers. And when you consider that the primary mechanic thatseems to be pushed out now is like these vmax is, like you'd kindof need to hit for weakness to one shot them, it's tough when youdon't have these retaliate attacks, because it means that only a specific archetype cancounteract, you know, the top archetype, and that that's a little bit concerningto me as well. I would counterpoint that and saying that I don'tthink it would be healthy to have very efficient attackers able to one hit Kov Max Pokemon. Okay, okay, like a basic one prizer being ableto one hit Ko of emacs. I don't think is any healthier than whatv Max is are already causing. Interesting, okay, I just elaborate more onthat. I mean, what do you think realistically, what were youwant out of the game? Is We want it to be slower and yeah, by introducing just a bunch of one price pokmon that can one hit Ko, anything like these vmax is are probably not going to go anywhere. Regardless. But instead we just have like these crappy counter pokemon that just make everythingfeel horrible to play, you know, and you're giving up so much.It's not like it's not like he raki and when hit Ko and a darkcrying getting out two prizes. This is a this is half of your prizecards that you're just giving up immediately for one pricing and like yeah, Ithink buzz wall is probably one of the better examples of how to handle that, where it's on it just gives you one terrific well, okay, andI guess you play around. Sure, sure, and and sure and,and that would be again, something that I've just I'm throwing out into theend of the air here as just something that I am not seeing with thecard design of sword and shield on. I'm not seeing these kinds of countercards like a bus will. Well, that's a great example actually a verybalanced card where it's like insanely powerful on like one term about, you know, pro post strong energy. Yeah, right, right, but I'm justI don't know, I'm maybe maybe there...

...are those kinds of cards that I'mmissing, but I just haven't seen that from this sword and shield block onand it just it kind of concerns me that there aren't these kinds of cardsthat do significant damage to vmax has for, you know, a splash will costyeah, I mean I think in general I'd like to see more likeone prize boxy kind of decks be a thing. You know, we weretalking just yesterday in our group chat about like Ray Quaysa and the two thousandand eighteen worlds Meta and buzz garb shrine, and I think buzz garb shrine,while also being kind of an oppressive deck, was a good example oflike a one prize toolbox, you kind of deck. You know, usethe rainbows and your attackers and you build a twist is to deal with.This is two thousand and eighteen worlds for those and and of course, likebuzz garb shrine also bled well into the two thousand and eighteen nineteen season.Yeah, so I think that's a good example of like a what a oneprize calry kind of style deck would look like. You know, obviously it'snot the most consistent deck just by virtue of being what it is, likea special energy reliant one prize deck, but it was very powerful. Itdealt with the metal well, but it dealt with the Meta and specific ways, like the meadow is very item heavy, like Lea's a day. Yeah,so the garbodors are really good against that. The combination of sledgehammer andability lock was super good against or are it, which is a that's whatin my mind, that's the kind of decks I want to see more ofnow. Sure, and as someone who really thought about Scuptuhne, was horribleand impressive to play against in the early two thousand and eighteen nineteen season.Yeah, I would rather have more decks like that that force you to thinkabout how you're playing the game. Yeah, and that. It's true. It'strue. You did have to think about you know. Okay, whendo I want to evolve? And like in a split evolution tree. Youknow, that deck played one. So when do I want to evolve intomy trash Lanch garbodor, and when do I want to evolve into my,you know, ability lock garbodor? And when do I want to attack withthis pokemon versus this other pokemon? And, like, do I want to benchsomething early if I know that it could get knocked out and that's myonly chance to you know, swing this matchup and yeah, there were alot of thoughts that went into that deck and I see your point there inthat this kind of maybe it's not a specific like retaliate style where it's likean immediate one shot on, you know, a high hp Pokemon, but itis kind of this thinking deck that is based around basic or stage onesthat only take, you know, only give up one prize. Yeah,where you still had to do the thinking, you still to do the calculating,the routes, the management, all this kind of stuff to put youin a position to win. But it wasn't, as I guess, oppressiveas my initial idea, where it's just like Oh, you knock me outand then all right, I'll just attach my one energy and blow you up. You know that? Okay, that could you, Harry. That's whatI'm saying. I think, when I picture a healthier game, I thinkmore turns is better. I think like slower, methodical gameplay is better.Like, yes, emax is kind of have more methodical gameplay into each other, but there's so little choice in what you're doing with a v Max.Like a lot of them have one attack. Yeah, I think dragonful's one ofthe few that has to emphasize. Yeah, like and there's like noreal reason that you would want to use shred over the other attack. It'slike it's not like I'm not going to make money plays, you know.Yeah, you should have you have one energy and use phantom if you haveto write. So that's that. Yeah, so I I would like to seemore stuff like that. It's more of a toolbox, more variety ofattackers, more turns. I think that's where the skill expression is right.Like the more turns a game takes, the more actions that are going on. And I'm disincluding stall from that particular conversation, not of stalls and noskill deck, but like the more methodical gameplay that goes into it, thebetter players will succeed, the more fun the game is because you're actually thinkingabout what's going on. I yeah, and I will. I will kindof not me. It's not really a counter, but it's just saying thatthe skill right now. You're saying that the skill is removed from the gameplayor being lessened from the in Gameplay. I would agree. I think thatskill now is shifted. You know, how much of it is up fordebate and whether or not it's like a very large shift, but a lotof that skill shift is going towards the deck building. I don't think.Yes, that is. I mean the problem I have with deck building beingthe main source of skill expression is that anyone can get a good list.Yeah, you know, and not just like not anyone can make a goodlist, but anyone can get a good list, sure, whether you're froman article or from a youtube video or...

...someone shares it to them and theyand then from there. The gameplay is so straightforward. You know that,and I don't want to this isn't me like insulting anyone, or are liketrying to frame the gameplays being zero skill right now, because obviously it's not. Like you still see players consistently doing well right now. Yeah, itjust feels less so to me than in times that was more methodical and slow. HMM, sure, sure, and yeah, I don't know quite whatto say to that except, yeah, I would say that, you know, we still have, are we should still have innovative decklist coming out,you know, post rotation. That just things that we haven't thought of thatmaybe just shake up the whole idea of what we're thinking. Post rotation canbe we have talked a lot about this format and we'll still talk a littlebit more about this format here in the next couple weeks as we just moveinto this weird kind of bridge time between current format and the new set andpost rotation. But yeah, it'll be interesting to see. Maybe there issome kind of combination of cards that does come out. That is exactly whatwe're talking about here, like we think. I'm thinking about, you know,like a car abominable being just one of these pokemon that I had noidea it existed and I had no idea that it could, you know,see any play and obviously it has some really good use and maybe there's somedeck that, you know, can use these kinds of attackers that we're justnot even thinking of that kind of flips the meat on its head. Doesn'tappear to be that way from from all the studying that I've done on bothrotation, all the stuff that I've seen, some studying from players and all thegames that I've tested and all the, you know, thought that I putinto it. But you never know, you know. Yeah, and I'llre emphasize this is not US waving the flag of defeat, you know, right bill or still in it. We still love the game. Wejust would love to see it be better because we love the game. Yeah, that's right, that's where it comes from. Sure, I'd love toanswer some of these questions, at least talk through them and chat. Yeah, and you Dank is asking. Has Stall and control all but died out? I mean not necessarily died out, but it's on a pretty low pointright now. I mean it's all decks. You know, they have to hithammers to succeed against stuff like d a pole an ATP consistently, especiallywith you as addition of boss's orders into the Meta. So it's just atough spot and I don't think there's a reason to put yourself in that toughspot willingly when you could just play one of the better decks right absolutely,absolutely, I think. Just to just to wrap up the end, youcan, we can answer obviously more questions after this, but just to wrapup my thoughts on this format is I feel like we are going to well, I know I will. In a couple years I may be kind oflow on this format, like how excited I am about this current former,but I think in a couple years, you know, when we go backand revisit this format, I think we will find that there was enough diversityand enough interplay amongst the top decks to make it an interesting format in retrospect. I think going through right now or seeing just you know, it's kindof the same stuff being rehashed, but I think going back will look atthis metagame and say, you know what, it really wasn't all that bad.There was a lot of different options that you could do in terms ofdeck building, a lot of different decks that you could play that all kindof had relatively decent matchups with one other another. Certainly there were some youknow, certainly there were some matchups that you know, are just blowouts,but I think generally speaking, you have interesting gameplay amongst the top, youknow, five decks, and so I'm gonna like this form out, Ithink in a couple years when we go back and play old yeah, Imean you know the opinion of the format. I don't want to harp on thisriver, but I think the opinion the format is also informed by theformats preceding it, and so what I mean by that is, yeah,you know, we've been playing Peka Ram for a year now, we've beenplaying, sure, playing Zashi and variance for a sure for half a year. We've been playing ATP variants for, you know, almost a year.So it gets old, you know, it gets Peter and I'll be playingfor a year and a half. Actually, sure, actually, now I thinkabout it, I'm really flown. So, you know, when youcombine that, it also like paints the ear your opinion of how things arecurrently. Of course, of course, not not to not to Harper onany other. Definitely not Alex Garcia. Also asking garbodor is really good forits time and really helps slow down the game. What killed it off?I think that's a really good observation. Garbod or definitely had a major impacton how people approach the game when it was released. What killed it off? The HP. The HPS got too high. Garbodor can't do that muchdamage anymore. It just it almost like...

...isn't physically possible for garbodor to likeyou have to be doing something wrong, you have to be really going crazy. Yeah, for garbodor to knock out an ATP, you know, especiallygarbodor. Yeah, exactly, exactly. Just, yeah, and expanded.You know, you there are still some garbodor things floating around, but instandard just well, just kind. Obviously our doors are tas are like.I know that. I'm just saying like in the way the decks are builtin Santa if there was an exactory print of garbodor, it wouldn't Kalo anything. Sure, YEP, YEP, exactly, Wallace says here. Are you guysbuying darkness ablaze cards? I think there's probably another set before tournaments areback. So are you buying any darkness blaze cards, Riley, Um,like physical cards? Yep, not, not at the moment. I feellike I'd rather just wait personally, just because I'm not going to be evena physical events start. I'm not going to play in them until I thinkit is actually safe and I don't think that'll be for a while in theUnited States. I think that I will keep my eyes out to full gripGamescom to see if they have any good deals and if they do have gooddeals on pick them up. But yeah, I mean I kind of echo thatsentiment. Just like trying to figure out what it would mean to havethese physical cards and I think I would just buy them on on special oron on a deal or if I had a discounter, if I had storecredit or something to use up, but maybe not going out of my wayto get, you know, play sets of everything that I need, asI would for like a normal set. If it feels weird, and itkind that just sucks to say. But again, without tabletop tournaments, it'stough to justify dumping, you know, the money that you would normally dumpinto a new set in physical cards into that. What I will be doingfor sure is I will be buying Rolllett from the set, because I couldevery single Rolllett. I'll be going to full group Gamescom for that, andI will also be buying codes because I want to play online. Yes,I know no better resource than full group CODESCOM. There you go. Ithink the codes are like going to explode, Dude. I think we've already beenseeing this like uptick in just general vice of codes. Yeah, thecodes are absolutely insane. So I would, I would a hundred percent go toa site that you trust for that kind of stuff, because I could, I could totally see like a anyway and never mind forget that die.But I would go to a website that you trust for codes and yeah,and try to get try to get those deals because like it should just boostup and up and up. We've been seeing kind of general trend with everynew set release that the codes go up and they seem to get more expensiveevery single time. Yeah, the other man, nine hundred and ninet nine, asking do you think they will make the game more skill based? Thatis a tough question inherently, I think. You know, I think they willtry. You know, I think they will do what they can tointroduce skillful archetypes while also maintaining business interests and, you know, following thewill of the player base. Like, ultimately, like a certain kinds ofplay styles and cards are what is ends up selling. Well then that's whatthey're going to develop to. So sure, Alex Garcia asking probably the perfect capstonequestion for the episode. Without Irl tournaments, which bay blade do youthink will dominate their current Meta? GW thoughts? I gotta say the RedOne with the spikes, for sure. Yeah, Alex, I think it'sgoing to be that. I've I'm a big fan of the lefthanded bay blades. I'm a righthanded guy, but a lefthanded blater. So wait, doyou hold it in the left hand and rip it with the right or yourip it with the Left and hold it in the right. I forget,but I remember they were distinctly lefthanded bay blades. Alex Garcia told me thiswhen I played with them. So okay, I think the lefthanded blades are reallypoised to dominate the matter right now. Huh? With all right, well, only time will tell. So that is our episode. Guys.Thank you so so much for joining us. That turned out to be a waylonger episode than we anticipated, which I feel like we always say,yeah, we're just really passionate, you know. We get the heat ofdiscussion and we just keep talking. So like to w said thank you allso much for listening. We appreciate you all. Your your can Tinu'd supportmeans so much to us. You have no idea. Especially in this time, is incredibly difficult to to maintain the tempo of content while you know covidis happening and there's no real life tournaments and physical card tournaments are physical cardsaren't really a thing. So we're doing our best for you and we appreciatethat. Return sentiment to us if you...

...have any ideas about things that weshould talk about or any general funny nuances that you want to give us.Feel free to follow us at tag team Pokemon on twitter and give us overa DM. We'd be happy to see what you all got and if wesee anything particularly funny or interesting, we might read it here on the cast. Absolutely always looking for content. Always we're thirsty for it. Very good. So I will be starting up the after dark stream here in a second. Thank you, guys all for watching. We are tag team. Follow usagain on twitter you can watch the episode. If you missed any ofit, catch us on all the platforms, stitcher, spotify, itunes or onmy youtube channel, Flex Daddy righteous. I post the Avada from the castthe day after. Hope you guys enjoyed this episode. I know isa lot of fun to make and I will be out of town next week, but catch you on the next episode. See Everyone by.

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