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Tag Team Pokemon TCG Podcast
Tag Team Pokemon TCG Podcast

Season 2, Episode 24 · 2 years 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 or podcasting duo. My name is Riley Hulbert, joined by my good, good friend JW 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 week I will be phoneless. Twitter, lists, instagram. I don't really use instagram, facebook with Bro I do have an Instagram, but I don't know how to utilize instagram. INSTAGRAM is a very foreign I just recently learned how to use twitter and I don't think that's true. Well, I use it appropriately, sure, yeah, so used appropriately, but for Instagram, I just don't know what I would put. I did create an instagram with the idea that I would like post like card pictures, because apparently instagram is a really good way to connect with people. I know people just like high quality hard seller Marquez. Well, yeah, that's why I'm saying but I just don'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 flex daddy 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 to get a stream going and like need to figure out how discord works. To me, the discord interface just isn't intuitive. It is so intuitive and bro the okay for real work. You know it'll be like eight am. I'm at work and all the CE posts on my phone, like of you and Andrew trying to get discard don't work like in the discord chat, and I'll pop in in the discord chat. This is a little insider info for all the listeners. So we have like a discord channel that all of our like friend group uses and there's a ton of voice channels in it and one of them I specifically made for JW Andrew to use while streaming because it has a two person limit on the voice channel so no one can like pop in there and mess with them. They have literally never used it. I every time I fought, except for one time, and I don't know how you even do that. How do you get there precisely one time and never use it again? Bro, we did it. We did it that one time. Yeah, we're fine, we're fine. We're learning. We're learning. I mean 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 thirty minutes of AOL Messenger every night. You know, I had to use dial up. You know it. It's a different world, like I grew up 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 just we had we had a computers is mostly just play, like I spy haunted house on the computer. Yeah, you know, forty five minutes, like we didn't really do anything in computer class. You're like not even that much older than me, and you're technically like fivezero years old. I'm just saying. I'm just saying. We had dial up. You know, is different world, as different time. Twenty seven years ago, I mean I was two years old and playing Freddy the fish, you know, straight out of the shade of the womb. Yeah, you know, okay, I'm play Freddie 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 going to bring up with Jami Sama. So they're the same idea occupied on the same 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 loved Pajamas Sam Jamison was good. Yeah, I sometimes I like want to go back and like find those games. I I haven't found like a good resource for that. There was one that I really used to like where it was like they they were adventurers and it was this adventure game, but it's scaled so 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 I remember the one that I was in. I think it was like this volcano type thing. I really miss it because I remember having a really good time and actually learning something from it. Yeah, but my favorite game it was like a flash game. I remember I think I was on, you know, funny junk or something. Yeah, and it was this monkey pilot game and you use the Arrow keys and you control your monkey and he's in a spaceship and he he collides around and you're trying to avoid the spikes and land your monkey on the platform. Wait,...

...do you know what I'm talking about? No, I don't. Okay, chat, help me out. What am 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. Funky Lander, 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 almost like 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 client like in a way, like occupied the same realm. Sure, sure I am. I my browser game of choice was unreal tournament. Or my my computer game of choice is unreal tournament and quake and all that. That was amazing. 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 diving into it, though, I think we have some cool updates on the players cup going on. Obviously the second week just happened and players continue to advance. Honestly, the Meta state about the same in terms of representation. I think there are some notable callouts. So your deck is locked in right over the course of the event, like the whole the whole way through week one 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. So actually, with the way you were talking earlier, I was right to start, wasn't it? Yeah, I guess you were. Yeah, I guess you were. Okay, so for contacts, we were looking at the charts that POKEMON TCG had tweeted out, because that's the only that's the only only insight we have into the Players Cup, like as at macro level, and we're talking about some of the trends between chart to chart and we we're CHR we're like mildly debating about whether it represented like success or representation. But now that 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 into it. 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 what we said would be the representation of these decks. So you have peak Ram and Dragon Pole both occupying about twenty to twenty five percent every the next most popular 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 the decks, I guess, obstacle or another other yeah, so everything else just occupied 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 be expected as you go over the course of a tournament. Like the best deck will separate itself. People Rom saw a pretty massive surge in popularity between we want, a week to dragon full saw a slight increase, going from twenty three to twenty five. I would say that's, you know, incro terms, it's probably about the same. Yeah, pekerm though, jumping from nineteen to twenty six percent. That's a lot of success for peak rom players at this event. Yeah, it is. It is. I think it speaks to the consistency of the deck. You look at just, you know, the amount of things that you need to do and and what you can accomplish on a first turn. I think like peak rom has maybe the best early game of any of these decks. You know, you look at ATP variants and like they're going to just pass a turn. You know that's that's almost a guarantee with most of the Zosh Index. Same with like a bliss Filon, like they're going to pass a turn, maybe two, maybe even three, and then obviously drag a polt like you're just you're given up that first turn to your best first turn that you can possibly get with dragon ball is attached pass. And so if you look at Peak Rom and it has this insane turn one potential, and so I think you look at that and it makes a lot of sense why it did so well and why it performed well, you know, into the second week of competition. Yeah, I mean it really drives home the same kind of things that we've been talking about about Peka Ram just being consistent, about being a beast and really putting pressure on deck so fast that, especially in...

...a double elimination style tournament where you know you can't afford to lose, really it's just a really solid choice for that event. Right. So it doesn't surprise me at all to seep Kurram be overrepresented, overrepresented in the second week relative to the first, just because it's so consistent that more and more players will likely succeed on average with P Kurm relative to other decks. Maybe maybe dad's like a lower ceiling. I don't really think it's that much lower ceiling. Yeah, no, I wouldn't say that, but I definitely think that some lists were pretty interesting. I did see a few of the list. I I can't remember who this speaks to. What Wallace is asking in the chat. This speaks to, you know, do we know who made it? And POKEMON hasn't publicly put out decklists or players that finished in the top, you know, moving on to the next, you know, week of competition. But I've seen some of the list from players in certain areas and just like the ways that you can construct pe Kuram have been really cool and I've seen, you know, list with for tag calls. I've seen a lot of lists that have shifted away from the to bolt on going down the just one, having that as kind of your late game finisher, but kind of relegating it to more of a Rye Schue, Rye Shue spot, where it's like you're not really relying on bolt on to win you the game, but it's just that auxiliary attack that you have. So a lot of I would say, from the some of the list that I've seen, like even still there's some innovation to be had with the Peaka Chun Zekram list. Yeah, and P Kuram is just a great deck to innovate with because it's got some just simple core to it that you can pretty much fill the void with whatever else you want. I mean people even realistically, can play decks like Green Speak Ram, which is sounds silly at times, but other times three people like doing well with it, at least sure relatively speaking. So I you know, at the end of the day, p Grama is just such a simple deck that you know it'll find this consistent success time after time. I mean realistically, since since team up 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 no Geraci, can go green, you can go vultner, you can go, you know, heavy Didnn a, you can go light that. Then I mean 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 can play the deck that you can really adapt it to what what you feel kind of fits your needs, fits your metagame, fits, you know, the way that you conceptualize the deck. That's really great. So I think, you know, we were talking about this heading into the Players Cup, that we feel pikachuns o gram was just going to be a general choice for that early game aggression, that it can provide the kind of general consistency, I would 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 you know 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's a lot of players, but certainly there are those players that have, you know, likely advanced past week two that just maybe, you know, played a lot of played a lot of tcg oh, but didn't really use Meta decks 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 as being 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 really got. 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, the Dragon Bolts and the Pika choose, they took up more of a Meta at large, and then the rest of the Meta keeps shrinking. One thing I found 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 says is the meadows is very centralized right now. The decks are clearly defined as being the best decks and you know, if you're playing it's like kind of one of those weird Metas, or it's like if you're playing outside these like top 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 just the the since I've played like we've never, well, I don't want to say never, but I haven't really seen this kind of quality across the board from the top, you know, for dex just being head and shoulders really, in my eyes, above the rest of the field, like it's almost not even close, and a lot of times it's not even fair. You know, you look at like counter decks like Obstacon, where the most played deck has like a reasonable s shot at beating obstacon. You know, Pe Khurram like has a reasonable shot of beating...

...obstacle in any given matchup. And that's just that's just wild. Like it just takes aren't even counters to the best 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 you know, if you look at the numbers and that kind of way, I think 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 the love, like, you know right. I would say like four variance of decks 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 like to get pokemon. It's credit, but the Meta is fairly centralized and when you 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 Pokemon feel like a little worse, just because there's so many like beloved characters in the 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 team cards. Well, they used to be able. Yeah, now now those are canceled. Right, exactly. It's another victim of twenty canceled culture. Yeah, there goes the tag teams said some mean things on twitter. That's right. Yeah, so, I mean overall, I think. I think it'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 on the cast and off. I just I don't like these gigantic pokemon and just swinging back for multiple prizes at each other all the time. Yeah, yeah, especially as I played more and more of these old formats, like using tabletop simulator and yeah, and just like you know, talking with my friends 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 more recent ones. It's there's last one shotting outside of like the Cephalon, there's not really much one shot and going on. I Guess Sa she is like one shotting things for three prizes on the addings. Yeah, sure, sure, but you know, I think at least the concept of multi hit chaos is a is a good direction. But, like when I think of the most fun meadows to play, I think of ones where you actually have to take six price cards. You need to figure out how you're going to do that. Six attacks. You mean I because I mean obviously we're taking six prize cards on six POKMON. Yeah, those are my favorite Metas to play. Yeah, by far and away. I really enjoy like figure out those routes, thinking about resources, and none of that stuff really feels like course to mine. I mean, Plesim's the only deck that I think really devotes brain power to resources, and it's only because it tosses them all away in the process of one shotting. Yeah, right, right, and I think something that some of the older formats to do really well, also, at least in the GX era, is kind of you contrast like this very powerful pokemon with it's very average and weak basic, and so there's some opportunity to kind of cut the head off before you know the damage can be done. And you know, in a sense, like you can, you can really get 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 see that a ton in this metagame. Yeah, it's we're almost there's that vulnerability where you know you can, you can really disrupt an opponent before they can get going. Well, what I was going to say is, besides the sash index, that take multiple extra prizes, you know, the two prize versus the three prize for some of those views and B Max is doesn't really make a difference in some cases. Yes, you know you're still going to have to take either two or three knockouts, depending on which one you're K owing. So, yeah, it's just kind of feels rough. And one other thing, actually looping back to gx, has, and we talked about this last week I think, but you know, being able to control like the 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 board with the gx deck, you can do that. You know, just have your 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 lay down to fill your bench and you know now you have these big guys that you need to take an extra frize that play the seven prize game like t I 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 less satisfying to me. I'M NOT gonna lie. HMM. Yeah, I wonder if there were any bands that, I mean just this is all like hypothetical and like retrospect, like if there was a band that you could make to this metagame. Do you think that there is a band that would solve the problems? And if there is, what would you ban? It's not really I mean, if you had to ban anything, it would probably be ATP just because it's stifles out all the one prize decks. But I feel like we'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 out like smaller decks. Yeah, so I don't know if I have a good answer. I think one of the been and to pokemons credit, one of the better things about pokemon that Pokemon and magic both share is the rotation system and in theory, the rotation system allows you to dial back the power level of the format because you can print some cards that will temporarily be crap and then you rotate out the cards that are overpowered and then the game is like in 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 is put 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 and v Max's for rotation. Who knows what's the next mechanical do? But instead of 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, the way to handle it. Like why even have a rotation at the power level of the cars is just going to get higher and higher. Right, right, exactly. That's that's a really, really good point, and to see you 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 power is like going to sell more cards. You know, I think that's just the general thought. Like you look at it, a card that has to pokemon on it and that's cooler than the card that just has one pokemon on it or a card that does so. You know, tag teams were insane amount of damage. Card that doesn't. But you would like to see the balance 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're kind of careening off and like going upwards at this exponential rate. Do you think that a more vmax dominated metagame will solve any of these issues that we're talking about with this current Meta? I mean I definitely, I definitely think v Max is were a better idea than tag teams in terms of yeah, like game balance. I think tag teams were cooler cards, yeah, but I 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 this Gx Ara, where you could evolve, you know, again going back to like I threw it's a Zor arc. You know, it's just it's a better kind of idea there, where you have to choose whether or not to evolve your v Max or not. But I don't Think v Max is are as good as the evolving gx is. I think evolving gx is are probably one of the better mechanics they've done in the last few years and on the whole, I think black and white was really the turning point where afterwards things started to really ramp up. So, you know, it's hard to say right now. I don't none of the v Max's are like so insane that they 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 have the 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 prizes and I don't I think the way that Pokemon is designing their cards, they've kind of rabbit hold themselves where now you keep digging deeper and deeper as like your 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 and have more HP to deal with. These giant Pokemon to even be a viable thing at all. Right, and so, you know, because the single price pokemon 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 did try to have that balance, and that comes in the form of bliss CEPHALON and spirit tomb. I mean those are our prominent one prizes, but you can see they're kind of the gears turning, I think, you know really with card design and, you know,...

...focus and things like this. So let's Cephalon just being able to have that one shot potential, but maybe not as not as cost efficient in those one prize matchups. Like you look at the Blis cephalon versus Malamar matchup when that was a thing, and we'll cephalon just couldn't even compete really, and so I felt like Bill Cephalon, you know, 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, or certain things weren't created like it would allow for maybe a little more healthy of a 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 viable single 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't like you need so many pieces to Combo. Well, with baby blith Cephalon, 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 do it baby's left on deck. But you do need a lot of combo pieces and anyone turn, and I think that's barely, you know, fairly reasonable to give that kind of card those amount of tools against what it has to go 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's what again, that's why I'm saying, like when you look back at the format 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 had Malamar because it just wouldn't perform well. Like the the ratio of energy to prizes was just too bad for the Blis cephalon player. And so like you see a tepee kind of stifling out and zostion prism combos option kind of stifling out those one prize decks like a Malamar. So I don't know. I again in that kind of rotates back to what you were talking about. Maybe if you ban an ATP or something, then you have like a rise or resurgence of a deck like Malamar or something. But yeah, that's neither here nor there. Yeah, I mean I think if we had to point at one card that is strangling them at at all, I think it's probably ATP. Just by virtue of his existence. It makes yeah, yeah, I think dragon poll again reiterating, I think drag a Pol will have a similar effect where it can continue spread damage, especially like having an evolving one prize deck against Drago Pole. Like that sounds horrible, sure you know. Yeah, Imagine with Finger Candy Against Dragon poll man. That sounds awful. Like yeah, yeah, you're definitely gonna have a bad time. I don't know. I think the problem is, you know, even though a rotation in theory allows you to dial back power levels, to do that you need to print sets of unsatisfying cards, like the cards need to be substantially weak or for multiple sets in a row, which means that the Meta won't change for the duration of those sets being added to the game. You know what I'm saying? So, yeah, and not only that, like from a sales perspective, like if I'm a businessman trying to sell my pokemon cards, you know I don't want to print cards that are worse. You know, who's gonna buy those? Right, right, right. Yeah, I mean it's definitely a tough it's a tough spot, I feel like, just in general for for Card Games, like you said, like they're stuck between this, you know, okay, how do you you know? We go from these gx has that are pretty pretty strong compared to what we had before, and then, okay, now we go into tag teams and then, okay, now we have v Max has, unless, like, the HP gets higher and the attacks get, you know, more crazy and like, I don't know, I'm a little fearful, but what happens next? Yeah, that and help if we think about, you know, whether it be a new mechanic or just more pokemon vmax. Like I'Mok got to say a little bit concerned about what we will see in the next year or two when the new mechanics come out, because on the current trend, you know, we're seeing in post rotation, at least that kind of testing ground, that there aren't really 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 Vmax pokemon and just what does that mean for the game and does that make the game 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 about the 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 I for prize pokemon get friended, yeah,...

...you know, eventually, or just have a five prize poke abond. You know, you like a six part I 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 maybe with the raid mechanic where you know, you just have this massive Giganta Max and 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 seemed something very reasonable that could happen. Yeah, it could be like a legend kind of card where you like take two cards and make it one. Oh God, yeah, I'm giving them an idea. You know, will cut that in post. I guess I can see. So I like see that it is the worst part, like a two part really nice hollow card that is 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 regrets there. You know, that's not to say I hate pokemon. Like Pokmon 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 that card 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 the problem 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 in this post rotation metagame is like, you're not really something that we've had in the 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's like, you know, if your pokemon was knocked out, then you do an additional amount of damage, like a retaliate kind of attack or, you know, 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 you or to rake in or Dru Dagon, if anyone remembers that from like five or six years ago. But these kind of retaliate attacks that can be powered up fairly efficiently, counter gain or like a double colorless or, you know, an energy and a some way to accelerate, but just being able to hit those weaknesses that otherwise that deck couldn't hit, to keep the deck alive in certain matchups that it otherwise wouldn't have the ability to overcome, and that's something that I'm seeing here in this sword and shield era of cards that is lacking, 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 that seems to be pushed out now is like these vmax is, like you'd kind of need to hit for weakness to one shot them, it's tough when you don't have these retaliate attacks, because it means that only a specific archetype can counteract, you know, the top archetype, and that that's a little bit concerning to me as well. I would counterpoint that and saying that I don't think it would be healthy to have very efficient attackers able to one hit Ko v Max Pokemon. Okay, okay, like a basic one prizer being able to one hit Ko of emacs. I don't think is any healthier than what v Max is are already causing. Interesting, okay, I just elaborate more on that. I mean, what do you think realistically, what were you want 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 everything feel 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 dark crying getting out two prizes. This is a this is half of your prize cards that you're just giving up immediately for one pricing and like yeah, I think 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, and I 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 the end of the air here as just something that I am not seeing with the card design of sword and shield on. I'm not seeing these kinds of counter cards like a bus will. Well, that's a great example actually a very balanced card where it's like insanely powerful on like one term about, you know, pro post strong energy. Yeah, right, right, but I'm just I don't know, I'm maybe maybe there...

...are those kinds of cards that I'm missing, but I just haven't seen that from this sword and shield block on and it just it kind of concerns me that there aren't these kinds of cards that do significant damage to vmax has for, you know, a splash will cost yeah, I mean I think in general I'd like to see more like one prize boxy kind of decks be a thing. You know, we were talking just yesterday in our group chat about like Ray Quaysa and the two thousand and 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 of like a one prize toolbox, you kind of deck. You know, use the 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, like buzz 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 one prize calry kind of style deck would look like. You know, obviously it's not the most consistent deck just by virtue of being what it is, like a special energy reliant one prize deck, but it was very powerful. It dealt 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 and ability lock was super good against or are it, which is a that's what in my mind, that's the kind of decks I want to see more of now. Sure, and as someone who really thought about Scuptuhne, was horrible and 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 think about how you're playing the game. Yeah, and that. It's true. It's true. You did have to think about you know. Okay, when do I want to evolve? And like in a split evolution tree. You know, that deck played one. So when do I want to evolve into my trash Lanch garbodor, and when do I want to evolve into my, you know, ability lock garbodor? And when do I want to attack with this pokemon versus this other pokemon? And, like, do I want to bench something early if I know that it could get knocked out and that's my only chance to you know, swing this matchup and yeah, there were a lot of thoughts that went into that deck and I see your point there in that this kind of maybe it's not a specific like retaliate style where it's like an immediate one shot on, you know, a high hp Pokemon, but it is kind of this thinking deck that is based around basic or stage ones that 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 you in a position to win. But it wasn't, as I guess, oppressive as my initial idea, where it's just like Oh, you knock me out and then all right, I'll just attach my one energy and blow you up. You know that? Okay, that could you, Harry. That's what I'm saying. I think, when I picture a healthier game, I think more 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 of the few that has to emphasize. Yeah, like and there's like no real reason that you would want to use shred over the other attack. It's like 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 have to write. So that's that. Yeah, so I I would like to see more stuff like that. It's more of a toolbox, more variety of attackers, 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 no skill deck, but like the more methodical gameplay that goes into it, the better players will succeed, the more fun the game is because you're actually thinking about what's going on. I yeah, and I will. I will kind of not me. It's not really a counter, but it's just saying that the skill right now. You're saying that the skill is removed from the gameplay or being lessened from the in Gameplay. I would agree. I think that skill now is shifted. You know, how much of it is up for debate and whether or not it's like a very large shift, but a lot of 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 being the 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 good list, but anyone can get a good list, sure, whether you're from an article or from a youtube video or...

...someone shares it to them and they and 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 like trying 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, it just feels less so to me than in times that was more methodical and slow. HMM, sure, sure, and yeah, I don't know quite what to 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 that maybe just shake up the whole idea of what we're thinking. Post rotation can be we have talked a lot about this format and we'll still talk a little bit more about this format here in the next couple weeks as we just move into this weird kind of bridge time between current format and the new set and post rotation. But yeah, it'll be interesting to see. Maybe there is some kind of combination of cards that does come out. That is exactly what we'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 no idea 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 some deck that, you know, can use these kinds of attackers that we're just not even thinking of that kind of flips the meat on its head. Doesn't appear to be that way from from all the studying that I've done on both rotation, all the stuff that I've seen, some studying from players and all the games that I've tested and all the, you know, thought that I put into it. But you never know, you know. Yeah, and I'll re emphasize this is not US waving the flag of defeat, you know, right bill or still in it. We still love the game. We just 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 to answer 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 point right now. I mean it's all decks. You know, they have to hit hammers to succeed against stuff like d a pole an ATP consistently, especially with you as addition of boss's orders into the Meta. So it's just a tough spot and I don't think there's a reason to put yourself in that tough spot willingly when you could just play one of the better decks right absolutely, absolutely, I think. Just to just to wrap up the end, you can, we can answer obviously more questions after this, but just to wrap up 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 of low on this format, like how excited I am about this current former, but I think in a couple years, you know, when we go back and revisit this format, I think we will find that there was enough diversity and 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 kind of the same stuff being rehashed, but I think going back will look at this 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 of deck building, a lot of different decks that you could play that all kind of had relatively decent matchups with one other another. Certainly there were some you know, certainly there were some matchups that you know, are just blowouts, but I think generally speaking, you have interesting gameplay amongst the top, you know, five decks, and so I'm gonna like this form out, I think in a couple years when we go back and play old yeah, I mean you know the opinion of the format. I don't want to harp on this river, but I think the opinion the format is also informed by the formats 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 been playing, 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 playing for a year and a half. Actually, sure, actually, now I think about it, I'm really flown. So, you know, when you combine that, it also like paints the ear your opinion of how things are currently. Of course, of course, not not to not to Harper on any other. Definitely not Alex Garcia. Also asking garbodor is really good for its 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 impact on 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 much damage anymore. It just it almost like...

...isn't physically possible for garbodor to like you have to be doing something wrong, you have to be really going crazy. Yeah, for garbodor to knock out an ATP, you know, especially garbodor. Yeah, exactly, exactly. Just, yeah, and expanded. You know, you there are still some garbodor things floating around, but in standard 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 built in Santa if there was an exactory print of garbodor, it wouldn't Kalo anything. Sure, YEP, YEP, exactly, Wallace says here. Are you guys buying darkness ablaze cards? I think there's probably another set before tournaments are back. So are you buying any darkness blaze cards, Riley, Um, like physical cards? Yep, not, not at the moment. I feel like I'd rather just wait personally, just because I'm not going to be even a physical events start. I'm not going to play in them until I think it is actually safe and I don't think that'll be for a while in the United States. I think that I will keep my eyes out to full grip Gamescom to see if they have any good deals and if they do have good deals on pick them up. But yeah, I mean I kind of echo that sentiment. Just like trying to figure out what it would mean to have these physical cards and I think I would just buy them on on special or on on a deal or if I had a discounter, if I had store credit or something to use up, but maybe not going out of my way to get, you know, play sets of everything that I need, as I would for like a normal set. If it feels weird, and it kind that just sucks to say. But again, without tabletop tournaments, it's tough to justify dumping, you know, the money that you would normally dump into a new set in physical cards into that. What I will be doing for sure is I will be buying Rolllett from the set, because I could every single Rolllett. I'll be going to full group Gamescom for that, and I will also be buying codes because I want to play online. Yes, I know no better resource than full group CODESCOM. There you go. I think the codes are like going to explode, Dude. I think we've already been seeing this like uptick in just general vice of codes. Yeah, the codes are absolutely insane. So I would, I would a hundred percent go to a 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 boost up and up and up. We've been seeing kind of general trend with every new set release that the codes go up and they seem to get more expensive every single time. Yeah, the other man, nine hundred and ninet nine, asking do you think they will make the game more skill based? That is a tough question inherently, I think. You know, I think they will try. You know, I think they will do what they can to introduce skillful archetypes while also maintaining business interests and, you know, following the will of the player base. Like, ultimately, like a certain kinds of play styles and cards are what is ends up selling. Well then that's what they're going to develop to. So sure, Alex Garcia asking probably the perfect capstone question for the episode. Without Irl tournaments, which bay blade do you think will dominate their current Meta? GW thoughts? I gotta say the Red One with the spikes, for sure. Yeah, Alex, I think it's going 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, do you hold it in the left hand and rip it with the right or you rip 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 this when I played with them. So okay, I think the lefthanded blades are really poised 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 way longer episode than we anticipated, which I feel like we always say, yeah, we're just really passionate, you know. We get the heat of discussion and we just keep talking. So like to w said thank you all so much for listening. We appreciate you all. Your your can Tinu'd support means 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 covid is happening and there's no real life tournaments and physical card tournaments are physical cards aren't really a thing. So we're doing our best for you and we appreciate that. Return sentiment to us if you...

...have any ideas about things that we should 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 over a DM. We'd be happy to see what you all got and if we see 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 us again on twitter you can watch the episode. If you missed any of it, catch us on all the platforms, stitcher, spotify, itunes or on my youtube channel, Flex Daddy righteous. I post the Avada from the cast the day after. Hope you guys enjoyed this episode. I know is a 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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