Pokémon Opponents: Psychoanalysis and Strategies

As we prepare our decks for Fall Battle Roads, don’t forget to prepare for the types of opponents you will encounter. Yes, these opponents are usually in one shape or form at every tournament, so you’d best put this article in your back pocket and pull it out when you need it most. So, without further adieu, let’s check out these Poké-profiles:


The 8-year old kid who has no clue what is going on. Little Johnny is here with his mom, play mat, and a deck with fake or illegal cards and no trainers or supporters.

Strategy: Loan him a few cards, give him a few cards, and try not to make him cry when he loses.


This guy has a mediocre to crappy deck because he’s spent all his money on his star kid playing in juniors or seniors.

Strategy: Be nice- most of these guys are friendly and like to give out advice, whether good or bad. Make sure to ask about their kids, answer their questions politely, and then beat them soundly.

Anime Look-A-Like

Hey, is that Ash??!?? Or wait- is that James from Team Rocket??? These are just Pokémon players that have somehow crossed dimensions into the Pokémon TV series and somehow made it back again. The aren’t the most socially adept, but they get a 10 for creativity.

Strategy: Try not to win T1; also, try not to make eye contact and keep the conversation on things like “What’s your favorite Pokémon?” Do NOT ask, “Have you ever had a girlfriend?” VERY BAD IDEA.

Living Chatot

Will this guy ever SHUT UP??!??? This is the guy who talks non-stop the whole match and gives a play-by-play recount of every action.

Strategy: STAY FOCUSED. This guy will eventually lose because he is too busy thinking about what to say next instead of actually playing. About ½ way through the match he will be silent for exactly 1 second when he realizes he has no chance of winning and then continue to narrate how badly he is going to lose.


You have about a 1-in-999,999 chance of actually winning this match, but if you do, you get bragging rights for the next 10 years.

Strategy: Shake hands after wiping the sweat off your palm and try not to make more than 50 mistakes your first turn for being so nervous. After losing, go brag to all your friends how it was a really close match (he took 6 Prizes, you took 1).


This is the son or daughter of Poké-dad above. Generally very nice and has an IQ out the yin-yang.

Strategy: Be careful with these child prodigy grand master players. You will often underestimate them because you beat their Poké-dad, but these kids will school you most of the time. When you lose, be sure to tell your friends that you let him win or you got a really bad start.

Rule Master

The most annoying player in all of Pokémon who wants to win at all cost. This is the guy who has memorized the rule book and calls every technicality on you. When he starts losing, he calls the judges over (who usually roll their eyes or groan loudly for being summoned for the 10th time) and accuse you of stalling.

Strategy: Don’t get too ticked off as it will affect your game play. If he wins by prize penalties, tell him that he needs to quit playing and become a permanent Professor.

Silent Sam

The hardest to read of all Pokémon opponents. You’re not sure if he’s just having a bad morning, a bad week or a bad life (or perhaps just constipated).

Strategy: Absolutely no conversation allowed. This guy will likely completely lose it at some point in the match and storm out of the tournament. Just try to finish out the match as quickly as possible and make sure this guy doesn’t follow you if you parked in a dark alley.


Hopefully many found this article to be very relevant and informative and an insightful profiling of your challengers. Best of luck this Battle Roads season!

Reader Interactions

42 replies

  1. Anthony Vyse Smith

    Anybody that berates this article has no sense of humour. I can see people bashing this, but it’s an ‘interesting’ insight for somebody who’s league usually contains less than 10 people. I’m reminded of one of J-Wittz’s first videos where he talks to a grandad who plays with his grand children. I wish I had parents/grand parents that are that cool.

    Would have liked to see an article that focussed more on actually talking about the different demographics of pokemon, the common age groups, gender balance. Being Australian, I know nothing about where the big areas are for cards in America, what the people are like, etc. I think it’s amazing that pokemon cards is one of those things that we see people from all walks of life take part in.

    Also, psychoanalysis isn’t really the right word. Profiling is probably better.
    Now, if we were to do a freudian analysis of rule-masters on the other hand. . . :P

  2. Tony

    thanks Adam! Yes, definitely not a serious article, and I even make fun of myself (Pokedad). Reminds me a little bit of a bumper sticker I saw one time- “I’m not prejudiced- I hate EVERYONE”. So, I’m not being cocky- I just think we all have to laugh at ourselves sometimes because we are a really interesting bunch.

  3. Tony

    Good point- I did make the mistake that Ash isn’t MD-on- oh, well, you can’t make everyone happy

  4. Tony

    As Jack Black said in School of Rock- “Nailed it!” Since you now have me figured out, I should be a pretty easy win for you!

  5. Tony

    Yes, I am a Poke-dad, and I hope I’ve gotten a little better than mediocre over the past few years, but it is usually true that we give our best cards and ideas to our kids and can’t afford to build a duplicate deck.

    And, dang it, you’re right- the Poke-girls! How could I forget. Thanks to Pikkdogs for that welcome profile addition.

  6. Tony

    Ha!!! Great additions, and I’ve seen them as well. The exhibitionists are really a tough match-up, especially with the distractions you mention. Thanks for the update!

  7. Tony

    I hate this article- where are the deck analysis articles? Has Adam lost his mind? I wish people wouldn’t make fun of other people, especially little kids.

    As the author of this article, I just wanted to be sure to get the criticism out of the way so everyone else can feel free to post other things.

  8. Joshua Pikka

    Good article, a fun read, but you forgot a couple people mainly the female players, of which there are 2 types.

    1. The girl-friend: They will show up with good decks because their boyfriends are good players. But if you can draw the matchup out long enough they will become board and not really care what happens, because they are only in it for the boyfriend, not the game. They also tend to make mistakes and don’t know the deck your playing.

    2. The Exhibitionist- This is the rare female Pokemon player who is entering a male dominated world and thriving. She usually has a great deck and knows how to play it well. Her trademark is wearing dresses that show off a lot of cleavage to distract the other player. Playing the Exhibitionist is a win-win situation if you beat her, you obviously win, but if you lose, you still get a good show.

  9. Karol Nowak

    Man, this article is one funny read. Great job writing it. You seem to have some nice humor and some good knowledge about the many kinds of TCG players.

    For the Poke-Dad part, I wouldn’t necessarily think that all Poke-Dads are medicore at best. There are actually some good players that are Poke-Dads in my area. Now maybe that may’ve not been necessary to mention this, but that was just something I thought I could add.

    Also, I agree with Pikkdogs that the only main thing missing from this article are Poke-girls. I also agree about the type of the girl players as it was mentioned. That is something that can definitely be added.

  10. tim h

    AND, of course, YOU. The love-able person who is slightly talkative for comedys sake while not making a mockery of yourself. YOU enjoy playing and winning; although winning gracefully and never taking the metaphorical piss. Right?

  11. Martin Garcia

    Ahahahaha great comment man, you got that right xD
    And a superb article too, i had a good laugh reading this, a light read, interesting and funny, Good job.

  12. Matthew Zwicker

    Thank you for an awesome article! This is just what the site needed at this time! I’ve noticed the tension and snippy dialogue that’s been circulating the comments section on various articles lately, and besides being juvenile, it was dissapointing. This was a light-hearted and funny article and a breath of fresh air for sure.

    Let’s all watch now for the first troll who arrives and bashes this article. They’ll probably just say “Not MD-on, stopped reading” without even reading the article. sigh

  13. Adam Capriola

    Hilarious article, it got quite a few laughs out of me.

    I hope no one takes it too seriously… it should be without saying go that this is only intended to make light of the Pokemon playerbase.

  14. Matthew Zwicker

    “Ash isn’t MD-on”

    That just caused me to inadvertently laugh out loud. Too funny man.

  15. James Hall

    You forgot another…

    The Returner, which I was.

    Has come back after a many year sabbatical and confused as heck as to what the new cards are, which I was.

  16. Tom Contello

    All of this is so true and as i was reading it i was thinking of people iv played against that are exactly like some of the above described, hah.

  17. Joshua Hall

    this article freaking nailed it, great writing, funny read

  18. mewuk85

    I could not have said it better my self, my little 1 will be 4 next year and she already love’s the game.

  19. mewuk85

    Great its always nice to read something with a little humor on a stressful day. Thanks man!!! Awesome article.

    I especially like the part about con le.

    We have Joseph Sanchez 1959.57 to look out for he always show’s up.

  20. Brandon Bittinger

    Tony Great article, but how did you forget that? lol!

  21. Marie Jenkins

    Forgot Nolives. Nolives spend every cent on cards and act as if them never going to worlds is a choice even though they just weren’t invited, they are constantly trying to scam kids out of good cards for junk, and make you feel like having a life outside of pokemon makes you a bad player.

  22. matthew green

    I am a Poke-Dad too, but the worst kind, I keep all the good cards and I am still Mediocre at best.

  23. Karol Nowak

    This comment is going to be more of a reply to both you and Tony.

    Well, it seems to make sense what both of you said. I think I might as well remember that most Poke-dads (or really, Poke-parents) are really mediocre at best most of the time. The reason why I said that there are some good Poke-dads in my area, for your information, is because obviously, they play the game pretty well compared to other Poke-Dads in my opinion. Too name a few, these very good Poke-dads include Jimmy Ballard and Rob Downs.

  24. Collan Baker

    Might just be me, but I have NEVER played a girl good looking enough to distract me from the game.

    • theo Seeds  → Tony

       everyone at league where i go has cards in a tin. not to look cool, to have a place to put cards. so this really doesn’t say anything about the kid.

  25. David Wiken

    Love the article – have definitely seen some of these guys over at our local tourneys… But I do although think that you’ve forgotten just a few types…

    1. The Loud-mouth. He’s that guy who supposedly feels so comfortable in the poke-environment that he believes everybody around takes an interest in his loud yelling as he gets an unfortunate donk… This guy also knows no boundries regarding loud bragging after an “easy win”…
    2. The collector. This guy fills the gap of time in between rounds by aggresively mingling through the room with random outburst of the words “cards for trade?”. He often brings boxes of binders filled with shiny primes and lv. x’s, but rarely trades them away, seeing as he’s emotionallt attached to every single one of them. This guy rarely succeeds in any tournament, seeing as he spends more time admiring the artwork in his 20% Prime-deck, than actually thinking strategy…
  26. Anonymous

    You forgot the Manners-Freak: He says “Thank you!” at everything you say, even if you said he made a horrible mistake. He’s constantly saying “You were really fun to play with”, or “I hope to battle you again”. They are usually not very good, but they can sometimes surprise you. The battles are usually painstakingly long, because he has to read every word on his cards — twice. Other than that and pikkdogs’ suggestions, this was an awesome article! :)

  27. Anonymous

    I guess I would consider myself a Silent Sam Pokedad. I don’t get mad if I lose, unless the person that beats me is oozing with ego.

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