Prof-It! Episode 35: Donkless Formats

Hey everybody, it’s J-Wittz here with a different episode than usual. Today I’ve decided to theorize different ways to remove donks from the format, as well as generate some discussion about donks in the Pokémon TCG in general. Post a comment if you have any thoughts, and thanks for watching Prof-It!


Reader Interactions

16 replies

  1. Anonymous

    good vid. i hate donks. i liked that idea where the person has 1 turn to get a basic out. it was the one you said you liked. i think i interpreted right? you get 1 turn after no pokemon to get pokemon to play active. honestly this would help so much to our format. and with t1 trainers it would even help donks as it would get the coin flip out fo the opstion almost.

  2. John Rea

    Great Vid.

    Didn’t you play a Shuppet DONK for some time????

    • Anonymous  → John

      As I’ve said, playing to get the donk when the condition exists in our game isn’t wrong. But in my opinion the fact that it does exist is. Not to mention, shuppet could probably knock out 2 pokemon, MAYBE 3 with a very lucky draw. A perfect uxie donk can consistently clear 4 pokemon from the field, which is just ridiculous.

  3. matthew green

    Sorry I missed your post about sending suggestions.

    My friend and I both came up with the idea similar to yours is that neither person can deal damage on the first round. You can play supporters and trainers and set up etc. but you cannot deal any damage.
    You would still be able to use attacks, I.E. Darkness Grace or Call for Friends, just not effect your opponent.

    I also like your idea about being able to get another pokemon on your turn if your only one is knocked out. Assuming you have some way of drawing into one or searching it out. I would suggest being allowed to search out any basics if your only pokemon is knocked out. I don’t think this would work though since then people would leave only one out so they can search for another even if they have one in their hand. Even that is better then donks though.

  4. venny kid

    “If your opponent ends their turn with no Pokemon in play, you win the game”

    This is probably the best way to eliminate donks. I love the idea, and it really would leave the game to skill, not just luck, because any good deck should be designed to take ALL SIX prizes, not just 1 or 2.

    The waiting a turn to attack just doesn’t seem fair to me. If I worked for and extended my deck’s resourses for an attack, I want to be able to use that attack, because I earned it. Sure there’s luck involved, but it just doesn’t seem fair to be stopped after your deck got rolling T-1.

    That solution you mentioned seems to be the most viable, easiest way to resolve this problem.

    Great Video by the way, excellent as always. Its amazing to see how many cards can beat Unown Q (or Hopip :)

  5. Brandon Bittinger

    You forgot about Unwon Q DONKing another Unown Q! lol!

    As your your thing about major of players coming to a consensus that DONKs are bad, you can’t count me in for that one. I love DONKs and I really do think they make the game more interesting and more fun. If we go to a format with no speed what so ever of a meta of Vilegar I couldn’t play anymore because I think decks like Vilegar are so mindless… I find them so boring.

    • Anonymous  → Brandon

      we wouldnt enter a meta of vilegar or stall decks. the idea is still to take 6 prizes. you can still take em fast with sp’s or machamp/kingdra/donphan. just you cant actually win t1. uxie donk wont be dead cause u can still takes masses of prizes. just u have to take 6.

      • Brandon Bittinger  → Anonymous

        Like I said all of that is a definite bye bye next season… Next season is just going to be a lot of trainer locks and I think is going tot be really boring.

        • Anonymous  → Brandon

          there willl be an up in trainoer lock yes. but what i like about next season is the number of rogue decks thatcan come back hopefully when sp engine go bye(i.e. blastgatr, garchomp, king and queen, this list goes on and on.

  6. Shaun Hindman

    The issue with no Pokemon in play not losing you the game is that it eliminates
    sniping from the game.

    For example, SP can drop a Crobat, turn it back to hand, and not worry if
    their active is KO’d. Barring hand manipulation, they have thier Crobat next
    turn so that they won’t lose, and Crobat never has a chance of getting sniped.
    Super Scoop Up, Poke Turn, and Rescue Energy all get stronger while cards such
    as Luxray, Gatchomp X, and Blastoise take a huge hit in utility.
    I believe the only answer is to allow trainers first turn with no attacking. If
    you go first and can’t set up, getting donked is unfortunate, but not nearly as likely. Sure bad hands come
    along, but that’s the case in any draw based game.

    The one idea of an optional mulligan isn’t a bad, but gives speed decks a second chance at going
    for that perfect hand.

    Sure decks like Uxie will abuse several systems, but that deck won’t win you a
    large tournament.

  7. theo Seeds

    either one of these should work or we’ll have to change the name of the site to (don’t click that)

  8. Ryan

    The new format’s rules will help and harm by allowing 1 st turn trainers

  9. Dave Hueglin

    Another option that would give more time to come back is:

    “If your opponent ends their turn with no Pokemon in play, you take a prize.”

    That way there would be only two ways to win the game; taking six prizes or having your opponent deck out (not counting game losses due to penalties).

  10. Joey A

    without donks, I think younger kids would play the game more. Nice video j-wittz. Not that its a surprise or anything!

  11. MikeL

    After watching you get donked by toby on saturday, and then me getting donked the next day in glendale with my lone unown q start, I really started to think back to this video. Really great analysis imo.

  12. Steven Nilsen


    Great discussion – I found it pretty interesting that the way you suggested playing, to let the other player play an active pokemon from their hand to avoid the donk, is EXACTLY what we play. We just started playing, and as the teacher and arbitrator of the rules in the household, I recognized straight out that this rule was BS. So, whomever it is who decides how play goes, I call you out. This rule is complete doo-doo and its obvious to this experienced gamer looking at Pokemon for the first time.

    I have few other bones about the rules. This one has a big read flag on it. Without even having heard the term donk, it is obvious.

    As an alternate choice to further extend every game, I like the suggestion of just giving a prize for eliminating all pokemon in play. In response the opponent could do a Speedball type recovery until a BASIC shows up, reshuffle their hand and draw X cards, probably 7. This would even eliminate the problem of not being able to recover with a draw, although that seems unlikely to happen in tournament play given all the TSS y’all play. So, I don’t care for this idea too much.

    Hopefully, when I do take the kids to play at a league, the 1st and 2nd turn KO will be sorted out. Because they are pretty young, they will just think the game isn’t fun and they would be right.

    Please keep up the discussion or the game won’t evolve.

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