Leaving (Donphan) is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do

I posted my last Battle Roads report here and thought it might be fun to do a little series as I go through the Battle Roads in the UK this Autumn. I will be going to at least 4 Battle Roads in total (possibly 5 but the last one’s still in the pipeline) and I thought it might be fun to just write up and post reports so that people can read it like an ongoing story of my trip through Battle Roads and my thoughts about particular decks.

This site has also been a teency bit quiet recently so I thought it might be good to post these. Regardless of how well I do I have been told that my reports are fairly entertaining and I know they’re quite detailed so hopefully they will entertain or at least give some information regarding playing and unleash some tips or ideas as you read through the important plays of my games.

I write these reports for myself anyway (love reading ones from a year ago, imagine how fun it will be to read in 10 years!!) so I’m not losing anything by submitting them. Let me know if you wanna keep reading or whether they belong solely for the eyes of my illustrious self!

This Battle Road was in Beeston in Nottinghamshire (UK) and as this is the UK we’re playing 45mins best of 3 in Swiss with (I believe) 22 masters giving 5 rounds of Swiss and a top 4. I was playing Magneboar, marking the first tournament in over a year that I had taken a deck that did not include Donphan!

Round 1: Jak Stewart-Armstead (Yanmega / Lanturn / Zekrom)

en.wikipedia.orgJak is a guy I met at Nationals where he made my day by referring to me as a “Deck Builder.” I hope that I didn’t disappoint him by playing Magneboar (though I should point out it was my, entirely original, list and not taken from anyone else). It was however a tough start to the day as he has been to Worlds the last 4 years. Ok 3 of them were as a Senior but even so…..

This was, thankfully, one of the best games of Pokémon I have ever played. Not only were they well-played competitive games, but large amounts of talking, laughter and good old-fashioned banter could be heard throughout, though I did have to restrain myself when he intimated that Happiny could “take” Mamoswine. I will put in public here that this is not true! Oh, and for people that don’t know, Jak is Baby Mario on here and the gym.

Game 1

I mulligan at the beginning of this game and know that I need a decent start to make up for giving him an extra card. So I win the flip and, with no than a little trepidation etched on his face, he flips over…. lone Cleffa. I let him stew for a minute before telling him it’s ok, I can’t donk him.

I get a good bench going and make an alright start, able to Twins for 3 turns in a row after he gets the early kill on my Cleffa. I get a Magnezone set up and we start trading kills. After around 3 kills each I have an excellent setup and his, by comparison, is not nearly as good.

At this point he uses Eeeeeek with Cleffa, who proceeds to stay asleep for 4 turns (for each of us!) but then wake up on his turn. During this time he was able to rescue his setup while I couldn’t find my lone Catcher and by the time he wakes up Jak is able is to get a KO and smile at his rather magnificent setup.

pokebeach.comFrom this point on I am always 1 Prize behind (I lost my chance to jump in front of the prize race when he stalled with Cleffa) and am unable to get a Bad Boar or Reshiram rolling, leaving me seriously worried about the amount of energy in the Lost Zone, even though the majority of kills I can get for 2 energy (including a lovely kill on a Chinchou with Catcher before he can cause me a problem).

Late game, with 2 Prizes left each, he uses a Catcher to grab my Emboar active and, realising I have used my only Switch and both my Junk Arms and cannot get enough energy to retreat him I start worrying. Then I realise I will deck out first and decide to scoop if he starts using Yanmega’s “Linear Attack.” He starts using Sonic Boom though and, after the 3HKO, I see a way to win.

I can get KOs for 2 turns in a row with Magnezone quite nicely, having an Emboar on my bench (with enough energy attached to retreat). The only other Pokémon I have in play is a Magnezone with enough energy to attack so there will be no Pokémon Catcher / stalling shenanigans here.

Unfortunately, I take my prize (leaving it at 1-1) and he is able to drop a double PlusPower on Zekrom to KO my Magnezone for the win. I would bemoan the luck but, to be honest, that was clearly planned and a hell of a play.

Unfortunately I was so set on the win I started playing out my next turn until I was reminded that I had already lost. It occurs to me writing this now that I REALLY should have scooped earlier in this game (when Emboar was Catchered). You’ll see why in a minute.

Game 2

At this point I am very aware that I need to take 4 Prizes and be in the lead in order to win the game and force sudden death so I decide to go full aggro Magnezone. I mulligan twice (!) and start lone Magnemite to his double Zekrom start, use a Collector and the Eeeeeek with Cleffa to get a new hand. On his turn he plays a PlusPower and DCE on his Zekrom and KOs my Cleffa, just after he drops a Judge! This puts me with a useless 4 card hand (no Supporters and no way to get a Magnezone) and no Cleffa to get a new one.

pokebeach.comOn my turn I do the only thing I can and use Pokémon Catcher to grab his energy-less Zekrom in the hope of slowing him down. It worked! For the next 4 turns we both just draw and pass while I desperately wait for something to use and he waits for a way to get Zekrom powered up or out of the active. During this time I realise Bad Boar (my plan for quick aggressive prizes with no thought of the late game) is prized and so it’s me and Magnezone against the world.

I take 2 quick prizes to his one (the Cleffa) with Magnezone, at which point he uses Catcher to bring my Emboar active and kill it with Lanturn. I respond with another Emboar though as time is called on his turn with us 2-2 at prizes. I have everything needed to take 2 Prizes in the next 2 turns and as he has only one turn left to take a prize I think I’m home and dry.

And then he Eeeeeeks! Cleffa doesn’t wake up. With my Catcher gone and no Junk Arm to re-use it I am unable to get around Cleffa and though I take a prize on my final turn to put me 3-2 up it’s irrelevant as I haven’t taken 4 Prizes.

I am well aware that his Yanmegas and Zekroms would’ve given him a HUGE advantage in sudden death and almost certainly led to his victory anyway but this was still a sad way to go down.


What I should have done? Nothing I really could have done here I’m afraid. I played fast and I played well I just didn’t have enough time to take enough prizes. I can’t moan about Jak’s playing because not only did he play quite fast but he also encouraged me, telling me he had faith I could take 4 Prizes in time! I should have scooped earlier and I should have had more outs for baby stalling but this is how we learn.

Still, losing round 1 in a very close fashion to someone who has been to Worlds for the past 4 years isn’t exactly the worst thing in the world. If nothing else it should do my resistance the world of good.

Round 2: Bye

For the record, I was not in favor of this. Now I got conflicting reports about whether a bye gives you perfect or 0 resistance but either way, I wanted to play! I had to sit for an hour and do….. nothing.

On the upside I went to get a newspaper and got a free Lego Star Destroyer so, you know, could be worse!


Round 3: Paul (Yanmega / Cinccino / Zoroark / Zekrom)

Paul is a Pokédad I had never met before who is new the game but was a friendly chap and (with one exception, as will become clear) we had a really nice game that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Game 1

I start with a lone Magnemite, just as soon as I mulligan to give him an extra card. I go first and bench some basics before getting a T3 Magnezone. His start is ok but not as fast as mine and I am further buoyed when I am able to Catcher up a Lanturn and KO it before it can be a threat to my Emboars. When I’m up by 2 Prizes to 1 he uses Yanmega to hit my Magnezone for 70. I then retreat to Emboar and we encounter what I have now come to call: “The Rotom Debacle”

The Rotom Debacle

pokebeach.comHave a look at Rotom UD (hopefully there’s a pic been inserted right here). Look at the exact wording of it. It says you pick a Pokémon on the bench and it does 20 damage for every energy attached to that Pokémon. I.e. if you have 2 energy attached to the Pokémon you pick then it does 40 damage. As it does not say who the damage is done to it therefore implies that damage is done to the active.

Now I do not dispute that Rotom was always intended to do snipe and do damage to the Pokémon you pick BUT this is not what it says on the card (assuming you take a literal translation). My good friend Tommy Roberts looked up the Japanese card with translation for me and we found that the Japanese card DOES snipe.

The reason I believed it did not snipe is because when the online programme first launched I put a Rotom in a silly electric deck I made as a sniper. I then got more confused than an old person at a death metal gig when it kept doing damage to the active. But why is this even important? Let’s go back to the game to find out!

Back to Game 1

He brings up a Rotom to snipe my Magnezone (my only Magnezone at the time) for 40 (due to the 2 energy on him) putting him at 30 Health; within range to be sniped by either Rotom or by Yanmega. At this point I call the judge to appeal and argue that the damage should be done to my active Reshiram. She disagreed with me so I called the head judge who, after some “persuasion” by myself saw my point and agreed with me.

This puts my Reshiram at 40 damage and I am then able to “Outrage” for a KO on the Reshiram and then a Yanma while my Magnezone sat on the bench, safely out of Linear Attack range. From here I clean up with Magnezone and win the Game 6-2.

As a slightly sour note to end this game I later find out on the Pokégym Compendium that in fact Rotom DOES snipe and my interpretation was wrong. I am still unsure about this and will see if there’s a way to challenge the Compendium or if it was errata’d etc. I apologised profusely at the time, but if you’re reading this Paul, sorry!

Game 2

pokebeach.comThis was a disaster. In this game I had the chance to use Cleffa, but decided to wait as I had Twins in hand. He then proceeded to wait a few turns and setup before taking a prize. I got an Emboar up but he had Lanturn and quickly took care of him.

At this point I was down by 2 Prizes but was finally able to get a Magnezone when Paul pulled off a very ballsy and, frankly, genius move. He used his Zoroark to copy Magnezone’s “Lost Burn,” lost-zoning 2 Special Dark and a DCE in the process. Usually a really bad idea but in this instance he immediately destroyed any hope I had of a comeback and he swept 6-0.

What I should have done: I should have Eeeeeeked! Waiting for Twins can be a genius move, but I still need to learn the subtleties of when to Eeeeeek and when to wait for the kill and Twins to be activated. It’s a difficult choice sometimes and I have got it right and wrong both ways but in this instance it could have allowed me to get more setup before he killed my Magnezone, stopping him rolling through me when he did so.

Game 3

In this game I started with Magnemite and it occurred to me that this was the 5th game I had played today and yet I had not yet started with a Collector. Running 4 should give me a 40-50% chance of starting Collector and here I am without one 5 games in a row. Still, I could’ve played Pokégear 3.0 (for the record, of 9 games today I start with Collector in 1).

I had a slow start and got Twins going later than I’d like, but I got my Magnezone up and used Switch to protect him from Zekrom (though it transpired that he didn’t have the last energy to “Bolt Strike”) and was then able to kill the Zekrom and Catcher and kill a Lanturn.

Time was called here and I was able to get a KO on a Defendered-up Yanmega and when he was unable to return the KO I won on prizes.


This was more like it. A proper win, a positive record and, due to the Bye and Jak’s awesome performance, I was sitting in 4th with 2 games to go, essentially meaning that my fate was in my own hands and all I needed was 2 wins and it’s top cut here I come!!

Round 4: Ayden (Reshiphlosion)

pokebeach.comAyden is a guy I didn’t really know before. He brought my girlfriend a rather elaborate birthday present at the beginning of the day so I figured that this would justify any decision I made to dislike him. Turned out this wasn’t necessary. This game was a genuine joy to play. We talked throughout, laughed a lot and (except for my abysmal playing) I thoroughly enjoyed this game.

Game 1

I lose the flip and he gets an awesome set-up, getting 2 Quilavas on T2 and 2 Typhlosions on T3. Luckily I also get an awesome setup here and get a T2 Magnezone and an Emboar follows on fairly quickly. I was however dismayed to see that he didnd’t play Ninetales and (though I later found out that he did play it) he didn’t bench a Cleffa.

I took the lead early here using “Lost Burn” with Catcher to take out a Typhlosion and a Reshiram while he picks an easy prize from the bench. I am then able to Junk Arm for a second Catcher and take out a second Typhlosion and then…. Panic!

I was winning and had a better board than him but then I panicked. I realised that to take those 3 Prizes I had Lost-Zoned 9 energy. This left only 5 in my deck, with which I had to take 3 Prizes. Now this (realistically) gave 2 win conditions. (i) I take out his third Typhlosion at which point there is a high chance of him conceding to save time for games 2 and 3 (ii) I take out his Typhlosion and eventually he decks out, unable to take enough prizes in time (so although I can’t take 6, neither can he). I later checked and he WOULD have decked out sooner.

At this point though I panicked and used Cleffa to “Eeeeeek”. I stalled for a few turns, unsure of what to do and then decided to go behind in prizes so that I could use Twins to get my Bad Boar and a Fisherman and take my last few prizes that way. Bad move! Not only did I give away my lead but in losing prizes I lose my setup and instead of using Twins to get my Bad Boar I had to use it to replenish my setup.

After a few turns (and feeling thoroughly stupid) I ask to count my opponent’s deck. I am told this is not allowed. I am allowed to count the discard, hand sized, prizes and play area but NOT the deck. So I waste a couple minutes counting the deck, his hand size, his remaining prizes and his play area, subtract from 60 and realise that he has 5 cards left in his deck.

pokebeach.comWhy does this rule exist!? It just gives people an excuse to waste time getting information that is easily obtainable! (I would like to point out that my opponent here was incredibly helpful in helping me out when counting his prizes, hand etc – cheers for that!).

So it turns out that he has 5 cards left in his deck and I have a good look at the board, go through the sums in my head and realise it will take him 5 turns to win, leaving him one turn short of decking out. Darn. At this point I conceded and went to Game 2.

Game 2

I got a decent start here and got a Magnezone up nice and early while filling my bench nicely. I don’t need to go into detail about what Ayden did here because he played his deck well and I threw away the match. Here’s how:

I had a Magnezone on the bench with 2 Tepigs, one of which I evolved into Pignite. I then Used Sage’s training and grabbed an Emboar and something else, discarding a Sage’s training in the process. I had in my head that I had a Rare Candy in my hand. I didn’t. I was therefore unable to evolve the Tepig to Emboar and start ripping through his deck and instead was left without enough energy in play to do any damage. I had a bunch in my hand but without Emboar they were useless.

To add insult to this I had discarded another Sage and was left with no draw power whatsoever when he then proceeded to KO my Magnezone with the fully-powered Reshiram that I had planned to kill when I evolved into Emboar and laid down a bunch of energy. I was left to draw-pass for several turns while he ran through my deck.


What I should have done: In Game 1 I should have just played the game out and killed his third Typhlosion. He may well have conceded at that point, unaware of my energy woes, or he may well have decked out before winning had we carried on. I’ll never know. I have described how I lost Game 2 in quite some detail. I don’t want to go through it again. I can’t go back. Don’t make me go back!!

At this point it was clear that I could not make cut but had nobody to blame but myself because the first game was winnable with a bit more hindsight and the second game was thrown away with stupidity.

Round 5: Ben (Mew Box)

pokebeach.comBen is a guy from my league who I play on a weekly basis. He’s a great guy and someone I enjoy playing very much, except that in my first Battle Road I proved myself unable to beat his Mew Box with my Stage 1s. I didn’t fancy my chances with Magneboar. Still, it’s always nice to play someone from your league.

Game 1

I lose the flip and go second but he has a slow start with a Mew and Sunkern and all he can do is “See Off” a Jumpluff. On my turn I set about benching basics, attach a L Energy to Magnemite and pass with a Tepig active (the most expendable of my basics). On his second turn he manages to get a Yanma and Oddish (though only 1) and is able to KO my Tepig.

This is good for me however as I get a T2 Twins, setting up a T2 Magnezone and Emboar and using a Catcher (that I grabbed via the Twins) to KO his benched Oddish. On his T3 he benches another Oddish, evolves to Yanmega and manages to hit my Magnezone for some damage.

On my T3 I am able to Junk Arm for a Catcher and kill his second Oddish, meaning one more Oddish kill will stop the lock completely and move this from a near-impossible matchup to a near auto-win!

As predicted on his T4 he gets his third Oddish out and kills my first Magnezone but I have a second one ready and on my T4 I set about using Sage’s Training and burning cards to “Magnetic Draw” for 6 and…. no Junk Arm. T5 he gets a Vileplume and it’s all downhill from here.

I start with a 3-1 Prize lead and this becomes 6-4 in his favor as, without trainers, I am unable to get much of anything going and as soon as the Magnezone dies I’m unable to get another one. Emboar makes a stand but he can’t 1HKO Yanmega so Ben is able to take a hit with Yanmega before getting the kill with Mew (using Jumpluff’s “Mass Attack”) and denying my a prize in the process.

So, that game almost showed me I can do it. Can I do it in Game 2……?

Game 2


Mukpokebeach.comI go first to his lone Oddish but with no way to do 40 T1 I start getting set-up and pass. I have a decent set-up in this game, again getting a T2 Magnezone and some early kill but he gets a T2 Sunflora leading to a T3 Vileplume and he uses Mew to “See Off” a Muk and starts “Sludge Dragging” my heavy Pokémon left right and centre.

I play it fairly well, ensuring that Pignite and Magneton sit on the bench, ready to be evolved if they get Sludge Dragged, but my hand soon gets clogged up with Trainer-items (effectively shutting off Magnetic Draw) and by this point I have lost the will to play! (Wow, dramatic much!?)


Still, I have nothing to complain about. Well actually, after this game I went to both Subway and KFC to get my girlfriend food and end up waiting in KFC for 20mins while some man swore about the service and gave me dodgy looks, but I don’t think I can blame Pokémon for that!

The Mew Box game was almost unwinnable (I literally cannot think of a worse matchup for Magneboar) but I should never have even faced Ben in the first place! I should have beaten Ayden’s Reshiphlosion and faced someone else in a play-off for top-cut so I only have myself to blame.

I have detailed above why I lost the matches I did but really it just comes down to not being familiar enough with the deck and finding some issues which did not come up in my testing. I did learn a lot about the deck though and have since made a number a changes. So…

Is Magneboar still viable?

pokebeach.comIn my last report I stated that I did not think that Stage 1s was particularly good anymore, and I stand by that. I know that some players are having some success with some lists but generally I think that deck will not lead to ultimate success. So what about Magneboar?

I think this one has a chance. I know I went 2-3 here (which, incidentally, is my first negative record in over a year! Curiously, in the first tournament in over a year in which I did not play a deck containing Donphan…) but I saw a lot of good things in this deck, though I also saw some problems.

I think it’s a very difficult deck to play with (at the risk of being controversial) more of a need for really keeping track of exactly what resources you have and have used in a game than any other deck of the moment. It’s very difficult to play and is REALLY punishing if you make mistakes.

On the other hand it is AMAZING when it works well and has an answer for anything in the format (except for Mew Box). It really is a deck that can do wonders if you play it well. I didn’t. I have another Battle Road in a week and I don’t know if I want to take Magneboar. I’ve made a number of fairly large changes to my list, to the point where the focus of the deck has shifted somewhat, and my testing in the next week will determine whether I feel confident playing it next weekend.

As for the question of whether I would recommend the deck, my answer is simple: I wouldn’t. It’s soooo hard to make a list with everything you need what with needing 2 Stage 2s AND a lot of energy and it’s slow and clunky and it’s difficult to play. These are the reasons people are shying away from it.

It IS potentially amazing, but you need to be dedicated. If you want decks that are very good and will give good results you need: Zekrom, Reshiphlosion, Ross.Dec, Gothitelle, Megazone and maybe, just maybe Stage 1s.

I like a challenge and I like using lesser-played decks, partly due to my distaste of mirror matches, so I’m going to keep going with it for a while, though maybe only at league, not tournaments as I am beginning to see why it fell off the map a little.

Sorry, was that a slightly depressing end to the report? Here’s a picture of a cute widdle kitty to cheer you up:

Reader Interactions

48 replies

  1. Aaron Minjoot

    Kudos for being unique and taking a lesser-played deck to a BR. A big fan of Emboar regardless of what people say about it being so Catcher-prone. The Rotom Debacle was quite an interesting situation though…

    That all aside…that’s one cute little kitty cat… :D

  2. Spam

    If the attack wanted to be more in line with how previous cards were written, Rotom’s attack should have been phrased: “Choose 1 of your opponent’s Pokemon. This attack does 20 damage for each Energy attached to that Pokemon to that Pokemon.” I’m guessing that proofreading thought that was an accidental double-paste and edited it out. Still, that was a bit of a jerk move.

  3. Stephen Mills

    Great report; it’s too bad you had some misplays/bad matchups (Reshiram never seems good for Magnezone, to be honest, so those last two games were pretty unlucky). Good luck at your BR next week, whether or not you play Magnezone there.

    I agree with you fully about the wording of Rotom. If it had been meant to snipe, the wording would have been different– but maybe it was just a mistranslation, despite what PTCGO would have us believe…

    I was surprised that you weren’t allowed to count your opponent’s deck– from the Pokémon TCG Comprehensive Rules 316.4a (http://www.warpcore.org/~chairmankaga/pokemon/rulebook.pdf): “”The number of cards remaining in each deck is public information.” This is what I’ve always believed to be true as well, unless they’ve changed the ruling very recently.

    • Anonymous  → Stephen

      Yeah deck count is considered public knowledge and either player can count either deck. The wording on Rotom can be unclear, but the sniping ability is the correct ruling. It would seem that this incorect ruling might have drastically altered the outcome of the game and tournament.

      In my opinion, in situations where the head judge has a relationship to a player the judgeruling should defer to the lower judge unless they blatantly got the ruling incorrect. In this case the lower judge Sid not get it incorrect. The head judge is not required to render judgment every time they are asked. Actually, a lot of judges routinely defer.

      I am not saying the ruling was biased, but great lengths should be taken to avoid the appearance of bias. In this vase it does raise a question because the final ruling was wrong.

      • Bryan McNamara  → Anonymous

        I guess I’ve never encountered this situation, but how and when can you count your or your opponent’s deck, other than by using hand size, cards on the field and in the discard. Obviously you can count your own when you are using a search card, beyond that I don’t see another way.

        • Anonymous  → Bryan

          You can count either deck at anytime. You are just not allowed to look through either deck when you are counting it. If your opponent refuses, just call a judge to monitor the deck count.

          Q. During a game is it legal to count your Discard pile? Is it also
          legal to count your deck as long as you do not look at the cards front?

          A. Sure, though if you do it too often during a timed tournament it could be deemed stalling. (Aug 31, 2000 WotC Chat, Q154)

          (this applies to your opponent’s deck also)

        • Illydth  → Anonymous

          Thank you Airhawk.  I read the “can’t count the deck” piece of the report and immediately started looking through the comments to see if someone had already posted this.

          Deck count is public knowledge, about the only thing in Pokemon that is NOT public knowledge is deck contents and hand contents…whoever made the call that said you COULD NOT count your opponent’s deck was incorrect.  Public knowledge is actually a very simple concept:  If it’s hidden it stays hidden, everything else is public knowledge.  If you can obtain the information without unhiding something it’s public knowledge.  This should have been obvious.  If I can count the player’s hand, count the player’s board and count the player’s discard and subtract from a known quantity (60) then why would deck count NOT be public?  All you’re forcing in this situation is a better chance to stall.

          Regarding the Head Judge call, having faced this situation several times myself in the recent battle roads I’ll throw this out:

          Impropriety exists any time there is a known relationship between a superior and an inferior, in this case, a Judge and a Player.  Were the situation a normal judge and a player, this would be nothing to speak of:  the player can always go higher…this isn’t the case here where the highest ranking “official” has a known relationship with the subject of the inquiry. 

          Personally, it doesn’t sound like anything happened, and I find it a bit discouraging to find anyone on here besmirching a Judge or player due to appearances of information they were not witness to.

          In my experiences, however, every time I’ve had to make a ruling regarding my son as the head judge I have ALWAYS either talked that ruling over with ALL judges present or deferred to the lower judge unless the ruling is OBVIOUSLY WRONG.  In this case where the compendium was NOT available I believe more caution SHOULD have been taken by the head judge before making the call…we all agree that the card’s text is AMBIGUOUS, not clear for EITHER argument, and in the case where you’re going to rule, particularly in favor of, a player with whom you have a relationship, it’s best either to abstain or ENSURE you are right.  I’d encourage your girlfriend, next time the situation occurs, to get more than 1 judge involved in the final call so no impropriety exists.

          Still, the fact that the TCG Online works the way Ross was arguing is a strong factor in the argument that nothing untold happened here and that everyone maintained impartiality in the decision.  As is mentioned: P!P Does very little to ensure their judges are kept up to date on rulings.  Certainly wouldn’t be the first nor will it be the last time a call like this is made…so long as there is some consistent basis for why the call is made (and I think Ross points that out well in his article), I think it inappropriate to accuse someone of cheating like this on an open forum.

          As Soares says, you don’t get to be head judge by being biased in your calls. And actually the reverse is normally true: you only get to be head judge by proving you are capable of NOT being biased.

  4. beyblade1410

    Magneboar heavily suffers from catcher but is still good. I got third in seniors with reshiphlosion at my first tournament. I ended up losing by one prize to world champ juan pablo arenas.

  5. Anonymous

    i beleive a bye just adds 0 resistence. a friend at my battle roads got into the top cut because of the 4 rounds we seniors had he had a bye(0 resistence) and got pared down to the leading junior(again 0 resistence). so after his 2 rounds he actually had to play.(no offense to junior but his deck was like 1-1-1 or 2-2-2 stuff. ) he lost to me (3-1 losing cause i let a dude take a misplay back, of well its BR nothign too major) and winning against a guy 2-2. so his opponent’s win % was like 70% where as everyone else was like 50%. sadly though i came in 5th.(4th was the last prizes adn pionts.)

  6. Connor

    I can’t help but think you only got the ruling because it was your girlfriends call. You shouldn’t be allowed to call the head judge in situations like that because things like this happen.

    • Stephen Mills  → Connor

      Although it does seem coincidental (for lack of a better word), I have to give the author (and his girlfriend) the benefit of the doubt here. He did specifically mention that she has gone both ways on rulings in the past (and I’m going to assume he’s telling the truth here).

      But even besides that point, she made the right call based on the wording of the card. Whatever the card was intended to do, the wording does not imply that it snipes. 

      I don’t think it makes sense to say the right call was made because of bias. If it had been an incorrect ruling based on the card’s wording in favor of the author then I would have some doubt as to the legitimacy, but there’s really no basis to say that the author got the ruling only because his girlfriend was the head judge.

      • Bryan McNamara  → Stephen

        Well, it certainly appears like bias, hence the defensive explanation in the first place. And if they want to avoid the appearance of impropriety or bias, it’s helpful not to get things wrong. After all, the ruling was easily accessible in the compendium. Obviously someone checked it during the tournament. Once that was discovered, he really should have surrendered that win, if not been DQ’d for the entire tournament (officially or not). Apologizing profusely is nice I guess, but it’s not really taking ownership for having argued successfully, to your girlfriend, to rule incorrectly in your favor.

        • Becca Mander  → Bryan

          Unfortunately, not everyone can be be right all the time, although that would obviously be ‘helpful’ in any situation in life.

        • Bryan McNamara  → Becca

          It’s also helpful to not be defensive and dismissive when people have legitimate questions about how a situation was handled (like not consulting the Compendium at the time, or taking action when someone did). 

          Ultimately, it’s between you and your PTO. If he/she is satisfied with how the situation was handled, then so be it. But I will say transparency is a two way street. You may think you are doing your best to proactively avoid the appearance of bias, but if when you are asked about how a situation is handled and your response is, “No of course we wouldn’t do something like that, don’t be ridiculous,” that’s not a response that inspires trust, which we as players need to have in those operating the tournaments we play in.

        • Ross Gilbert  → Bryan

          Firstly, i believe your tone here is verging on disrespectful so please be careful in that respect.

          Secondly, There are NO legitimate questions as to how it was handled. A ruling was given based on all available information at the time and was, at the time, the only ruling that could be given. The compendium WAS checked but only during the lunchbreak as checking before would have taken too long and left only one judge for 23 masters and around 30 Seniors / Juniors and delayed the tournament while my match was given extra time.

          After the ruling was given (again, for legitimate reasons) there can be no consequence for any player as a ruling has been given and the game has played out according to that ruling.

          What i did not state in the report is that i had the game effectively won anyway. His set-up was poor and and i had other options. I raised an interesting ruling query that i thought would pique the interest of the community. Although some people have appreciated this interesting question other people have chosen to take this as an opportunity to attack the integrity of my both myself and my girlfriend, despite having no reasons or information which which to legitimately do so.

          Rest assured such questions will not make it into my writing in future. Interesting for the majority but not worth the hassle caused by the minority.

        • Stephen Mills  → Bryan

          From what it sounds like, the author argued for what he thought was the correct ruling, and the head judge ruled what she thought was the correct ruling. Whatever relation there was between the head judge and the player certainly didn’t seem to impact the decision. It doesn’t sound like he knew it was an incorrect ruling through the course of the tournament, so there was no reason to surrender the win or be DQ’d (why would you DQ someone for an incorrect ruling, anyways?). He apologized, but he played the way he thought was correct and he didn’t do anything wrong. It’s perfectly fine to do what he did.

        • Bryan McNamara  → Stephen

          I don’t think there was bias, I’m saying it gives the appearance of bias. And from my reading of report, it sounded as though someone looked up the ruling during the tournament, hence the profuse apologizing. If the error was discovered during the tournament, then something could have been done about it. It may not have mattered as he finished the day 2-3, but again, we’re talking about appearances.

        • Ross Gilbert  → Bryan

          I apologised because i like having happy, uncontroversial games and i was the one that raised the question and i would have apologised regardless of the outcome (as i had challenged my opponents interpretation of a card, something that i do not like to do).

          I later apologised when it turned out i was wrong but this was during the lunchbreak as nobody had time to trawl through the compendium until then.

        • Martin Garcia  → Bryan

          Im afraid its not that easy to correct a mistake in a ruling after the game has been finished, which seems to be the case here.

          Bias or not, once the game has ended and the results have been reported, you cant simply say “upsie, les give him a game loss and everything´s fixed”, since you cant say for sure he would have lost have the ruling been any different.

          Its a pity, but you have to put up with it. It was ruled A, so in that match, IT IS A, nothing can be done after that to fix it. You can try to fix it during the same turn, when no actions have been taken, but other than that there is nothing else.
          You cant give a punisment to a player for the incorrect ruling of a judge, and the card is pretty vague to start with.

        • Ross Gilbert  → Bryan

          You’re right, someone did check it. In the lunchbreak when we had 30mins to spend looking up rulings that seemed clear on the wording of the card and had been observed playing the same way on the official pokemon online game.

          Are you saying that the tournament should have been delayed for 10-15mins while the compendium was checked (leaving only one judge for the rest of the 21 masters) just in case the card had been mis-worded?

          Now in this case the card HAD been mis-worded but i think delaying the tournament for 10-15mins to check a ruling like this would be absurd.

    • Becca Mander  → Connor

      You don’t get to be head judge by being biased. My relationship to Ross is irrelevant to the point that I don’t know why it is included in this article. Having no previous dealings with Rotom UD outside those relating to its Power, the ruling that I gave was influenced exclusively by the text written on the card face. Sorry to burst your bubble.

    • Ross Gilbert  → Connor

      Ok, a few points to make here:
      – In the report i refer to both the wording of the card AND how it plays on the pokemontcg.com – this gives TWO legitimate reasons for me giving the interpretation that i did (and hence the judge backing me up)- I mention my relationship to the the judge purely for the reason that had i not it would leave it open for someone who was at the tournament to post a comment referring to it and then it would seem shady- At the time the ruling was given nobody had access to the pokemon rulings compendium and as this actually goes against the wording on the card i do not see how how ANY judge could have ruled any differently unless they had seen said compendium in advance
      – It would be pretty stupid of me to be open about such a relationship if there was bias
      – Given how clear and precise i was on exactly what happened and my inclusion of ALL relevant factors i find it offensive that someone who wasn’t there would question the integrity of both myself and the judge because of something they inferred that wasn’t there!

      I did ask for this section to be taken out before it was posted when it was mentioned to me the interpretation some people could take and obviously it was not possible to remove it in time. I thought this would not be a problem as i didn’t think anyone could allege bias given how open i was. Turns out i was wrong.

      As nobody here has given any reason other than “she’s your girlfriend and i’m a cynic” to allege bias i would appreciate any further accusations being sent to me personally as a PM so that i can discuss them with you privately. I thought the readership of Sixprizes was better than this.

        • Ross Gilbert  → Anonymous

          I am not saying i got an official ruling from the programme. I am saying that the way the programme worked led me to believe in my interpretation of the card was correct. It added weight to my argument where i had no definitive ruling, it is not an official ruling. I never said it was.

  7. Aaron J. Walker

    Very nice article. I like how you talked about how you could have done things different / better from each match up. Very informative.

    The Rotom wording seems pretty clear to me if you don’t over think it: says to me you can choose one of your opponent’s Pokemon and the attack does 20 times the amount of energy attached to THAT Pokemon.

    • Ron Routhier  → Aaron

      Agreed. The text is pretty ABC as far as what the attack is supposed to do. Pick a Pokemon, see how many energy (not energy cards) is attached to that Pokemon chosen, do 20 damage per energy to that Pokemon chosen. What part of “TO THAT POKEMON” was confusing?The head judge was totally wrong on this one, as were you. You play English cards over there, right?

  8. Branden Lones

    I played Magneboar at Miami battle roads. I went 3-2 one loss being a turn 2 zekrom/seeker, the other being a cleffa donk. Pretty disappointed with Cleffa that day.

    Anyways what my point was going to be was that my 3 wins all went to time out, the deck never at any point felt clunky or slow or any of that nonsense though. I DEFINITELY wouldn’t go so far as to call it not a good play in this format. I walked out feeling like it was still an absolutely amazing deck that pulled through in really hard and long top tier games.

  9. Branden Lones

    I played Magneboar at Miami battle roads. I went 3-2 one loss being a turn 2 zekrom/seeker, the other being a cleffa donk. Pretty disappointed with Cleffa that day.

    Anyways what my point was going to be was that my 3 wins all went to
    time out against good decks played by good players, the deck never at any point felt clunky or slow or any of that
    nonsense though. I DEFINITELY wouldn’t go so far as to call it not a
    good play in this format. I walked out feeling like it was still an
    absolutely amazing deck that pulled through in really hard and long top
    tier games.

  10. Andrew Carbon

    I’ll have to keep an eye on that Rotom card online.  I think the ruling made on the card was the right one given the wording and the TCG Online.  However the TCG Online is in Beta and has been known to glitch (too often).  It could be the case for Rotom.  Also this card already looks like a weird misprint if there was no clear indicator of snipe damage in the text and the Japanese version was meant to snipe. 

    Quite the debacle indeed.

  11. Aron Figaro

    Yeah, Rotom is bugged, but that was clarified by Play over a year ago. I don’t feel that was fairly resolved at all, and the first judge WAS correct.

    Note that the judge not going by the Compendium ruling, however, would normally be the correct case. The card trumps a quasi-official document. That said, as the ruling came from Seattle…nope.

    • Ross Gilbert  → Aron

      The Rotom ruling made on the day was “technically” incorrect. In the article however i tried to make clear that no other ruling could possibly have been made. Given the information available at the time the correct ruling was made.

      As i had a Magnezone, EMboar, Reshiram and other Magnemites ready to turn into Magnezones and he had a Rotom a Yanma and a Zorua though i don’t think we should worry too much. I had that particular game won :)

      • Aron Figaro  → Ross

        Judges are expected to know the current state of the rules. Yes, I realize Play makes ABSOLUTELY NO EFFORT to help judges with that (being a Judge was such a chore back when I did it regularly) but it is still their responsibility.

        That it didn’t affect the outcome of the game is a separate issue, but good to know. :)

    • Jak Stewart-Armstead  → Aron

      Whatever your feelings about Team Compendium and PUSA, you really shouldn’t be saying stuff like this.

      The Compedium is endorsed by PUSA and used as a reference at premier tournaments. If someone want to sit there arguing their analysis of the card text against the compendium, they are going to end up with a penalty, pure and simple.

      You might not agree with Compendium rulings, you might not like how they are made, but that’s what we have to play to.

    • Anonymous  → Aron

      Seriously?  We’re all well aware of how much you dislike the people in charge, but instructing players/judges to ignore the Compendium is plain wrong. 

      I don’t care HOW MUCH YOU HATE IT, COMPENDIUM IS AUTHORIZED.  That’s like instructing players that the first turn rule P!P set up is stupid, so they should ignore it and use the old rule in tournaments. 

      Card text does not trump compendium, compendium is rulings VERIFIED from Japan.  You don’t get to cherry-pick rulings, you get them all. 

  12. Jak Stewart-Armstead

    One thing I’ve learned with Pokemon is that doing textual analysis on a card is a waste of time. That is not how things work in Pokemon . . . we play it according to the intention of the Japanese card, no matter what we think it says in English. The old ‘play as printed’ principle went out with WotC.

    Going by the compendium is correct. It is endorsed by Pokemon USA as a rulings source.

    I was at the tourney and I know the people involved. A mistake was made, but it was an honest mistake. No way any favouritism was shown.

  13. Anonymous

    For the record, I think the compendium should have been consulted, but for those arguing the text was clear without it, let me remind you that for every rule, they like to print an exception.

    No weakness/resistance when doing bench damage?  http://pokegym.net/gallery/displayimage.php?imageid=48166

    No ignoring attack costs when copying?  http://pokebeach.com/scans/black-and-white/71-zoroark.jpg

    No typos?  http://pokegym.net/gallery/displayimage.php?imageid=51057

    So please don’t go telling me that the intent of a card is easily determined by the text on it. 
    Rotom IS kind of confusing.  Before I knew the ruling, I figured the wording was intended for when playing double battles: like a lot of the old ex era cards, you got to choose one of the two opponent’s actives.  And before anyone says that was never true: http://pokegym.net/gallery/displayimage.php?imageid=31535

    • Jak Stewart-Armstead  → Anonymous

      Ha ha ha . . . exactly.

      Just imagine someone holding up Psyduck TM and telling the Judge that their opponent must ‘filp’ a coin, not flip it, because that’s what it says on the card.

      ‘Play as printed’ can be a very bad thing. Look what happened when WotC mistranslated Slowking NG.

      • Anonymous  → Jak

        Or for a more recent example, onix UL (if played as printed) would give emboar variants “healing breath” for their entire board when combos with SSU or seeker or unown return. 

        But it doesn’t.  Because the card text was an error. 

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