PokéClass Episode 35 – Exploring the First Turn

This week, I go pretty in depth on an issue most of us are currently finding with the format so far, the first turn. I have a deep look into options for fixing donks and fixing the advantage the person going first seems to have, but are any of them viable enough for Pokémon to even consider changing? Watch the episode to find out..




Reader Interactions

19 replies

  1. Sebastian Lugo

    the thing of no damage on 1st turn is a joke right?

    • Daniel Middleton  → Sebastian

      Just one of the options available that works well in YuGiOh.. even though they are completely different games.
      It was just a suggestion and I realise it would hinder attacks that do simple 10/20 damage :)

      • Dave Wilson  → Joshua

        I honestly don’t think that this rule is enough to balance the game. I’ve played M:TG and I though about having a player not draw on T1 and even that isn’t enough (Pokemon is much more dynamic than MTG). I think the old balance was a good one and probably the best this game can have. I’m sure TPCi thought that a slower format would make this less of an advantage but they were seriously mislead.

        Sure you may get rid of Tyrogue donks but even those are slightly rare enough not to matter too much in most tournaments if you build right. The fact is, that being able to reversal, collector, etc. T1 while being able to evolve first and attach energy first is WAY too important.

        • Shaun Hindman  → Dave

          But taking away the ability to play trainers/supporters to the person that goes first really just hands the same advantage we are seeing now to the person who goes second.

        • Ron Routhier  → Shaun

          EXACTLY…. This going back to the old rules is a bad idea. I love what they did in the Professor Cup. Each player chooses any basic Pokemon you want to start the game, and go from there.
          If not that, then I personally like the play any cards, but no damage dealt idea. That doesn’t mean you can’t put your oppent in a special condition turn 1, since damage isn’t necessarily dealt………

  2. Shaun Hindman

    I really feel that keeping the person who goes first from attacking is the best solution.  There will always be some sort of advantage/disadvantage to going first.  By letting the person who goes first do everything but attack, they can setup without the fear of being donked (unlike the old rules), but at the same time won’t be able to donk their opponent.  Sure it takes away attacks like “eeeeeek”, but that’s a small disadvantage to going first that is more of a product of Pokemon not having a mulligan rule that the player can choose to do once per game.

    I’d much rather go first and setup without an attack then going first without any option of trainers/supporters like in the past.  There isn’t a perfect way to balance going first/second… They are different turns so there will always be an advantage one way or another.  At least by not allowing attacks on the first turn you take away games ending turn 1.  Sure you may have a harder time later in the game… but at least you get to later in the game.

  3. John Sharp

    In the Professor Cup, they had the professors choose their starting pokemon. Think that’s going to be a considered as a rule change by Pokemon?

  4. Anonymous

    I want nothing to do with the MD-on format–that includes any and all prior rulings.
    It’s still TOO EARLY TO PASS Judgment on “going first decides the game” However, the game should have more beneficial cards to the player losing in prizes to mount a comeback.

    • Dave Wilson  → Anonymous

      I like this point. I keep reiterating that we only have a small amount of sets to choose from. However, the format (as far as cards playable) hasn’t had too much of an effect on the new B/W rules about going first. I honestly believe that the reversal of players going first rule and not being able to play trainers/supporters is a mistake. TPCi must have thought that a slower format would make going first less important. They were wrong. They mistook our ability to accelerate the game. Perhaps later sets will change this advantage but for the moment (and for worlds) we have pretty much found that going first (plus flips) is advantageous to a degree that it may even decide games.

  5. Joshua Pikka

    Donks are part of the game, lets not try to get rid of them altogether.  No we don’t want the Sabledonk donk fest, but I don’t think they are terrible for the game.  Playing donk decks is cool and fun, although we don’t want them to be too powerful.  

    • Anonymous  → Joshua

      I recently made a Sabledonk deck just for the fun of it. And man is it just way too powerful. My friend said he was angry at me for doing that to him :D

  6. tim h

    Turn 1a, player plays Yanma/Phanpy/minccino/Horsea, etc. 

    Turn 1b, other player plays yanma/phanpy/horsea
    Turn 2a, player plays yanemga/donphan/cinccino/kingdra, knock out opponent’s active

    Now they are not only a turn behind, a prize behind, but you also just killed one of their pokemon. If it was a basic that you needed to evolve, you lose.

    I think the problem is Donphan/Yanmega, not the format. Evolving first turn isn’t that broken… but evolving into Donphan or Yanmega or Minccino and dealing 60/70/100 damage. Especially with reversal, if you get a head on turn 2a and get a kill, you win.

  7. Travis Russell

    Hey Dan, another great video. You and JWittz are the reason I started playing again after an eight year hiatus, so thanks for that too.

    Originally I thought reverting back to the no Trainers/Supporters on turn one was the best idea, but I really think your no damage solution is better. It’s the only solution that gives both players a fair chance to get set up.

  8. Joe Callen

    I think a reasonable solution would be for the player who goes first not being able to play Trainers. They would still be allowed to play Supporters, which means they could Collector T1, set up, but not play trainer after trainer to get an unfair advantage. Then the person who goes T2 could get set up themselves, but still couldn’t evolve.

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