A Brief Thought and a Video

Ok I’m going to keep this really short.  It’s late and I’m tired, but while I’m waiting for the video I recorded tonight to render, I want to take the opportunity to talk about something.

Here’s my fear with Tag Team Pokemon: they’re going to dumb down the game and it’s going to become who can hit who the hardest and the quickest.  After seeing the many draws from this weekend, however, Pokemon has a vested interest in going in this direction.  It’s really hard to get in three games in one hour with many of the decks people were playing this weekend.  One thing Zoroark has done for the game is increase its complexity.  We saw that with the Zoroark Controls deck and even with Zoroark Garbodor (BKP especially).  A lot of matches ended in draws this weekend, and that’s not good for the game overall.

Even worse than draws, in my opinion, is if Pokemon decides to go the route of shortening games by making them less complex.  The Tag Team Pokemon mechanic certainly looks like it’s going in that direction.  With that completely overpowered GX attack, it doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility to take four (or even five if you take out another Tag Team Pokemon) prizes in a single turn.  And at 240 HP, it’s not really that hard for your opponent to OHKO you as well.  Prizes will be flying off the board at a much faster rate, which means that game times will come down, and players will be able to complete three games in an hour of playing time much more frequently.  Unfortunately, this style of play becomes much more two dimensional (neanderthalic, sorry I know that’s not really a word and is undoubtedly offensive to Geico commercial actors), and I don’t think that’s better for the game overall.  Better for IRL tournaments, absolutely, but not for those of us who are enjoying this more complex game.  I would definitely say I enjoyed the 2017-2018 format much more than the 2016-2017 format where half of the year was dominated by Big Basic Pokemon who were just trying to slam each other as hard as possible while using Garbotoxin to stifle any creative abilities of other Pokemon in the format.

Just my initial thoughts, however, they underline my fear that the online game will always be subservient to the IRL game, and that what’s good for IRL may not always be what’s best for those of us who pretty much exclusively play online, which is actually probably more than the amount of people who play IRL… but I totally get why IRL takes precedence.  And I totally get that my neurotic fears could be completely unfounded.

By the way, my wife had the best description of the word neurotic this weekend, and I’ve never heard it described this way before.  My son asked what neurotic meant, and she simply answered, “Someone who tries fixing something that doesn’t need to be fixed.”  Don’t think that’s lost on me regarding Tag Team Pokemon, draws, and IRL vs. online play.  The game is growing more than ever before, and I think that’s awesome and I don’t think it needs to be fixed.  I just don’t want to see this game get dumbed down just to make sure that you can play three IRL games in an hour or less.

So here’s my spread deck video – this list is coming back down to Earth a little bit, I have lost a couple of matches.  Here’s how to beat it:

  • Acerola and Max Potions, but you have to wait to use them.
  • Only put out two or three Pokemon.  Definitely don’t bench something like Magcargo.
  • Hope I brick or get sloppy.  Almost all of my losses are from games where I’ve been sloppy and haven’t counted my prizes early or games where I’ve bricked coming out of the gate.

Other than that, there’s not much you can do against this archetype.  Zoroark really has it tough.  I do feel that one Buzzwole GX player really played well to beat me, and a Banette GX Raticate GX deck did well to overcome me as well.  These were both excellent players, however, and they probably made good decisions early on and had a little luck themselves.  I’ll start tracking stats again in September, but I’m winning a lot with this deck.  I had an eight game winning streak before completely bricking against a Rayquaza GX deck tonight (immediately after annihilating another Rayquaza deck).  I’m already 130 points up the ladder after only six games, pretty impressive.  Definitely recommend this if you want to go get that FA Sophocles.