Motor City Metagame: Team Warp Point’s PokéBarn

With Autumn Battle Roads right around the corner, competitive players everywhere are tweaking their decks, testing their matchups, and trying to refine their playing style in the wake of Claydol’s exodus from the format. Up here in Canton, Michigan (about 25 minutes west of Detroit), Monday night PokéNights have always been a weekly guarantee that we’ll make spending some quality time with our friends a priority in a world where school and work seem to monopolize our time.

Last year, our average turnout checked in somewhere around 6 or 7 guys each week, which inspired the formation of “Team Warp Point.” Some of you may have seen us at Nationals sporting red and white baseball shirts that said “Team Warp Point” on the front and “Good Game” on the back. The joke behind the name is another story for another time, but our trip to Nats caught the attention many of our friends back home (who wondered out loud why 6 college-aged guys would drive 6 hours and cram into a 1-star motel room for a Pokémon-filled weekend).

Upon returning, we found that quite a few of our friends were interested in getting into the game, so we began helping them construct decks. Because our decks were already at a competitive level, our friends weren’t exactly content with the whole “Starter Deck” option. They wanted to get competitive quickly, so we placed them on a daily regimen of and gave away countless staple cards like Rare Candy, BTS, Pokémon Collector, etc. Word spread quickly among friends, as well as random players we bumped into at local card shops. The result was a huge boom in our attendance at PokéNight, which quickly outgrew our usual basement meeting place.

Recently, we secured permission from the church a few of us attend to move PokéNight to their Youth Center, a renovated barn with plenty of playing space. From 9 PM to 10 PM we play fun games, trade cards, and tweak our decks. At 10 PM the real fun starts, and we kick off a tournament. Last Monday, we had 20 players (larger than a few of the Spring Battle Roads I attended) and played a 5-round, Swiss format tournament with a 4-player Top Cut. Featured decks include LuxChomp, VileTomb, SableLock, Donphan, Gyrados, DialgaChomp, Scizor Prime, and many other current decks that you can expect to see at tournaments this year. We’re constantly testing our matchups against competitive players, and we’re hoping for great things in the upcoming tournament season.

My purpose for writing this article is two-fold: first, I want to encourage other players around the US to start their own Pokémon communities, whether via an official league or D.I.Y. style like we’ve done. If you’re willing to be generous with your time and your cards, you can get your friends hooked quickly on this game we all know and love. Secondly, I want to let the 6 Prizes community know that if you’re ever near Detroit on a Monday night, you’re welcome to come hit up the PokéBarn! My email is, for any who are interested in getting more details. Good luck this season!

Reader Interactions

20 replies

  1. Evan Baker

    Cody’s (third guy in on the left) face haha… I’m sure whatever he was bumming about doesn’t compare to him going 4-1 at Battle Roads yesterday and still missing top cut. Solid effort though!

  2. Travis Yeary

    That’s awesome. Glad to hear there are other college students playing the game. Makes me feel less out of place. If you have weekly competitive tournaments, you prolly have some really good understanding of the match ups. Which deck wins most, and which decks can just never make it to the final four. Have you recorded any win %’s based on the results each week?

    • Evan Baker  → Travis

      Travis – Last week was our 4th tournament this Fall. From memory, the Top 2 decks have been:

      Week 1 – Luxray/Garchomp/Machamp defeats Scizor Prime
      Week 2 – VileTomb defeats Luxray/Garchomp/Machamp
      Week 3 – Luxray/Garchomp/Machamp defeats Scizor Prime
      Week 4 – Scizor Prime defeats VileTomb

      So we’ve had 3 decks sort of controlling things lately, but we’ve had a few other decks that are being tweaked each week and have really started to come on strong with top 4 finishes, including Regigigas/Abomasnow, TTar Prime, and Blaziken/Blaziken FB/Heatran. The most interesting thing, in my opinion, has been the true power of a Scizor Prime deck in the hands of a very skilled player (no, I’m not talking about myself haha). I think most people consider it T2 at best, but it matches well against most SP builds and against VileTomb.

      • Joshua Pikka  → Evan

        Yeah scizor prime and its metal counter part steelix prime are better than people think. I will be working with them soon, for sure.

      • Travis Yeary  → Evan

        Oh yea scizor prime has some potential. I like the heatran blaziken fb combo. I had both of those guys in my charizard deck (with iffy results) but a blaziken deck sounds more helpful.

  3. Joshua Hall

    This sounds awesome! I’m sure there are many places around the US that could easily do something like this once a week if they just organized a bit. Glad that you guys were able to transform a small day of testing into a fun little tournament! :)

    • Evan Baker  → Joshua

      I agree, hence the article :) It’s a great way to get prepared for a true tournament atmosphere, especially for players who haven’t had much tournament experience. It’s funny though, not everyone agrees… this dude caught me in the bathroom at BR’s yesterday to tell me our idea was stupid because all our deck information could get leaked haha. I said “uhhh… ok.”

  4. Richard William Rich

    So much fun. This was probably taken just after I made the mis-play of the century. A possible donk, but for some reason I counted a crobat and 3 poke-turns as 30 damage instead of 40. We have to start playing earlier :-).

  5. Joshua Pikka

    Hey Guys

    Thats awesome that you guys are growing.

    I saw you guys at Angola yesterday and was able to say hi to most of you guys. Keep up the good work, Im sure you guys will be challenging the best couple players in the area pretty soon.

    Its too bad that you guys play on Monday, I have school on that night. But Im sure one of these nights I’ll be free and I’ll try to stop and see you guys.

    See ya this weekend for more BR action.

    • Ryan Graham  → Joshua

      Hey Josh, this is Ryan here. We all have class on mondays too, but we don’t meet until about 9 PM and we go until the wee hours of the morning haha. You should definity come out! It’d be nice to see some new faces.

      • Joshua Pikka  → Ryan

        I could probably make that. I’ll either shoot you guys an email or talk to you on the weekend.

        Thanks for the invite

  6. venny kid

    That’s awesome!!! I wish I could start a group like that in my area (right in the middle of NOWHERE Athens, Georgia), but I’m only 14 and don’t have the resources. Oh well, Its cool to hear of others getting together to play the game we all know and love!

  7. Jona Jeffords

    Team Warp Point!

    Hey guys, Jona here (Shuppet). Just wanted to add that it is really cool that you have developed such an interest in the game while including your firends. I know I always have a great time at tournaments when you guys are around; it will be interesting to come to one of your meetings (although, not so sure about the wee hours of the morning bit).

    Pikkdogs and I have been playing on Skype lately and I bet we can work out getting to your metting on a Monday night soon.

    Thanks for posting this and keep on having fun!

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