Kenny’s Wisdom: “They Said You Were Washed Up!”

As promised, I finally did well at a tournament and am going to write about it! For those who have been following my recent string of articles, I’ve failed to do well in a single Cities tournament thus far, which explains the lack of reports from me. Now that I finally spiked a tournament and top cut another I decided to take the time to write about them. They’re particularly entertaining in my mind because I succeeded with the worst deck ever!

Preparation

youtube.comIn the week or so leading up to the January 7th Cities, I knew that I needed to take some sort of action. I hadn’t gained any Championship Points during Cities (although I did have a single point from Regionals), and I knew that if I didn’t start earning them I wouldn’t be able to qualify for Worlds, and my entire season would be a no-go. I knew that I needed to get focused, test more, and switch decks.

As I wrote about in my latest Underground article, I was pretty sure I was going to play Gothitelle. ZPST had been dominating my local metagame for the past few weeks and I was certain that half of the players would try to hate ZPST out of the meta, while the other half would stick to playing ZPST. This puts Gothitelle in a pretty good position, as it has fantastic matchups across the board, particularly ZPST.

Unfortunately, I soon learned that players were switching primarily to CaKE and Chandelure, both matchups that I could just never quite break with Gothitelle. I won’t repost my entire list here as it’s available in the Underground article from a few weeks ago, but I ran Dodrio UD and V-Create Victini, and other than that had a pretty standard list.

With Gothitelle off the table I decided it was time to try the one deck in the format that I hadn’t played…Durant. If you read my article from last week you’ll see that I thought Durant was less than tier one, but was still a threat to watch out for. After sleeving it up and testing it versus the decks that I predicted would be big for the weekend (Chandelure, ZPST, Cake) I saw that it was a very solid play, and made the decision to run it on Friday night.

Here’s the list I used for the tournament.

Pokémon – 7

4 Durant NVI
1 Cobalion NVI
1 Rotom UD
1 Smoochum HS

Trainers – 43

4 Pokémon Collector
4 Professor Juniper
3 N
3 Twins
2 Professor Oak’s New Theory
1 Black Belt
4 Crushing Hammer

4 Revive
4 Junk Arm

3 Eviolite
3 Pokémon Catcher

2 Dual Ball
2 PokéGear 3.0

2 Lost Remover
1 Switch
1 Super Rod

Energy – 10

4 Special M
4 Basic Metal
2 Rainbow

A few explanations…

pokemon-paradijs.com– The Pokémon are pretty standard, with the exception of the Smoochum, which is an idea I stole from Tyler Ninomura. The basic idea is that it acts as a stall mechanic, as it can move energy around the board, preventing your opponent from attacking while at the same time protecting itself from being KO’d. Overall I love the card and wouldn’t take it out under any circumstances. One is definitely enough, though.

– I put in the Cobalion just to have an out in case I couldn’t mill my opponent fast enough. I found it to be absolutely useless and wouldn’t play it again. Because your deck is so bad it just wastes a slot and if you open with it you want to kill yourself. I’ve seen Durant lists in my area run 3 copies and become semi-successful, but I couldn’t imagine what kind of sick person wants to do that.

– I considered a Weavile UD tech for a while and it’s perfectly fine, but ultimately takes up a lot of room, and I just found myself wanting so many Trainers over it. It’s still something I’d like to test given more time (I did build the deck the night before after all), but something I probably wouldn’t include overall.

– The Supporter suite is okay, but I think there’s definitely room for improvement. N pretty much never helped me at all, for one. I understand why it’s played, and I’ll still probably keep a few copies in, but the number of times that N hurt me greatly outnumbered the times that it was effective.

– 4 copies of Juniper is undoubtedly where it’s at, and along with 4 Revive and 4 Durant is something that I would never change in the list. You need to hit all your ridiculous trainers at the right times, and nothing helps you do that more efficiently than my favorite Professor.

Twins was very nice, but I’m not sure if I want all 3 copies next time. You have so much draw power with all of your other Supporters that I’m just not sure you need more than 2. It is a pretty clutch play though, and definitely won me some games. It’s something that you certainly couldn’t omit, but I would personally never play more than 3.

pokemon-paradijs.com– 2 Oak isn’t the best thing ever, but it’s all I could fit at the time. If I were to play it in the future I might switch things up to 4 Oak and 1 N or something along those lines. I might even try to fit Cheren in its place, especially if I decide to keep the Ns, as straight draw is so much better than shuffle draw in this deck.

– The single copy of Black Belt is a pretty fantastic play, and something that I wish I had more of. I used it several times in combination with Rotom to KO Zekroms, which ultimately won me several games. Even though I want more of them, I’m not certain where I would find the room. Oh, Black Belt also helps with Cobalion, but I literally never used that card once, soooooo.

– I always wanted more Lost Remover, and it’s one of the first trainers I would add more of given the chance. An automatic Crushing Hammer for DCES, Rainbows, Special Metals, and Rescues? Yes please.

– The Super Rod was amazing for the times when I couldn’t get a Revive for my Durants/Rotoms, and is also pretty clutch in mirror.

– From what I’ve seen my energy count is lower than most, but it worked out fine for me. Obviously you need the 4 Special Metals and the Rainbow, but I’ve seen other lists that run 5-7 basic Metals. If your meta is entirely dominated by Durant than I would try to cut all the fluff and go to 8 basic metal, but if not I think 4 is pretty fine. If you’re a worry wort go to 6, I suppose.

Other than that I think the list is pretty standard. As always, if you have any additional questions please feel free to ask in the comments.

With that out of the way, let’s get to the actual report…

Day One: Uncle’s Games in Redmond, WA

Not much to report as far as pre-tournament shenanigans. Tyler Ninomura reveals that he was my Secret Santa and gives me my belated X-Mas gift (this incredible 3D Shinx, which you can see here). We get our decklists turned in, and it’s announced that we’ll have six rounds and a top 8.

Unfortunately we also learn that the top 8 matches will be 45 minutes long, meaning that Durant is at an immediate disadvantage. Still, at this point in the season I’d be happy with just making the top 8, so I try not to worry about it too much.

Round 1: MegaZorD (Yanmega/Zoroark/Donphan)

I don’t recognize my opponent, which I typically find to be a good sign. When he flips over a Yanma as his starter, I am taken back a bit as I haven’t seen any Stage Ones anywhere since Worlds. I consider my options a bit and realize that there’s actually very few ways he beats me. Donphan can’t 1HKO a Durant, and can’t even 2HKO one that’s equipped with Eviolite and a Special Metal. Additionally, Yanmega can only 1-shot Durants that are void of Special Metals/Eviolites as well. And obviously Zoroark just does nothing.

With this in mind, I realize my game plan is to never play Cobalion or Smoochum, as he could drag up the Cobalion and snipe the Smoochum with Yanmega. I also know that I need to find Eviolites and Special Metals early. If I stick to both of these game plans, I don’t think I can lose the game.

I manage to go first and the aforementioned happens. No Durants are prized, I hit a Special Metal on turn one, etc., etc. The game is pretty uneventful, and I end up taking the win.

1-0

Round 2: Andrew Chard w/ EelZone

Andrew Chard is my roommate, and only came to this event to see a few friends and give someone their Christmas present. He has no plans to play Pokémon heavily during this season, much less qualify for Worlds. With all this in mind and it being lunch time, he concedes the game to me.

2-0

Round 3: Grant McClellan w/ ZPST

Not much to report on here, the matchup goes as it usually does and he beats me very easily.

2-1

Round 4: Tyler Ninomura w/ Chandelure

Even though the matchup is in my favor, I’m still nervous having to play Tyler. He’s an incredibly good player and I know that if there’s a way he can win this match, he will.

Luckily, I get pretty lucky, manage to go first and get everything I need. Once again, no Durants are prized, and my mills are particularly great, as I believe I milled 3-of his Chandelure and 4-of his Lampent very early. He manages to get a Cobalion out and start taking prizes, but by that point it’s too late in the game, and I manage to mill his list card while he has a few prizes left.

3-1

Round 5: EelZone

This match went pretty much exactly like it should’ve. I got all 4-of my Durants up on turn one, and was able to cut off his set-up pretty well. I think my first Devour was something like Eelektrik, Magnezone, Sage, Sage, which is pretty great. I also ran really hot with Crushing Hammers and was able to keep him off of energy almost the entire game.

4-1

Round 6: Jeff Anderson w/ Durant

Jeff has been playing Durant exclusively for the entire Cities season, so I know that he has more experience than me in all things Durant related. However, his list is also quite a bit different than mine, playing a heavy Cobalion line, no Smoochum, a Drifblim UD line, so I think that I can beat him on milling, since there are so many more cards in his deck that don’t help him with the mill.

He also realizes this, and almost immediately begins attacking with Cobalion. I’ve seen a lot of players talk about how the attack strategy is the best one to use in the mirror, but I’m not quite sure if I agree with that. In all the times I’ve seen it play out, it ends up that the attacking player can’t get enough energy on Cobalion consistently because of milling and Energy removal effects, and therefore can’t take all of their prizes before they’re milled out.

pokemon-paradijs.comAlso, Cobalion completely cuts you off of any other options, at least when you start out using Durant it’s possible to switch to a Cobalion or slowly build one-up on the bench and try to go aggro attacking, whereas if you start attacking with Cobalion you’ll be infinitely behind in the mill race and will never be able to switch it up.

Anyway, things play out as I expect and I’m able to mill after he takes 3-4 Prizes.

5-1

Feels pretty good to make my first cut of the season, but soon after I learn that I’m getting paired against Kyle Nelsen, a teammate who’s running Lake, one of the worst matchups for Durant. Combine that with the fact that I’ve never played the matchup out, and I’m pretty nervous.

Top 8: Kyle Nelsen w/ Lake

Game 1: There’s not a lot to talk about in this game. We both get extremely good starts as I mill almost nothing of importance from him. The turning point in the game comes when he miscalculates damage and attempts to KO me, but because of Eviolite leaves me with 10 left. After that I get several free turns of mill that he wasn’t anticipating, and he concedes the game.

1-0

Game 2: From what I can remember, he rolls me very easily.

1-1

Game 3: I don’t quite remember all of the details of games 2 and 3, so forgive me. They’ll be video up soon, and I’ll be sure to link to that either in a future article or in the comments section of this post. Anyway, I do what I’m supposed to do and win, can’t remember much outside of that.

2-1

Now that I got past my first awful matchup, it’s time to play Durant mirror. Yeahhhhhh.

Top 4: Charlie Nguyen w/ Durant

Game 1: Again, by this time it was pretty late and I’m not certain that I remember all of the details. I believe that he went first and things were pretty even until he started hitting Crushing Hammers and Lost Removers more consistently than I did. At that point the game was pretty much over.

0-1

Game 2: I went first and had no Durants prized and things went as they were supposed to. I believe this is the game where he got all of his Durants set-up on turn one but had an unfortunate energy drought. Anyway, things go as they’re supposed to and I milled him out. Sorry, Durant matches in general, and especially Durant mirrors aren’t the most exciting things to talk about.

1-1

Game 3: He takes the initiative to start attacking with Cobalion, a strategy that we’ve outlined a few rounds down in this article. Unfortunately for him, I run insanely hot on Crushing Hammers, and eventually get a Devour for 4 that’s literally all M Energy. He manages to make it a pretty close game from what I can remember, but I get my mill off pretty quickly.

2-1

Again, there will be videos for all of these matches in the next few weeks, and I’ll be sure to share all of them with you guys then.

Finals: Albert Du w/ ZPST

Bad matchup? Obviously not a problem! QQ

Game 1: He goes first in this game and over-extends for the donk. I think he plays something like 2 Dual Ball and gets four tails, and then plays a Junk Arm for a Dual Ball again, and maybe a draw Supporter as well? Anyway, he doesn’t get the donk but it is a pretty decent game wherein I get lucky with my Crush Hammers and he can never really seem to get anything up.

1-0

Game 2: This game is pretty much exactly the opposite of Game 1, where he gets stuff up just like he would in a normal ZPST match, but a few turns slower. Luckily those few turns are exactly what I need to buy me the game, but it was extremely close and Albert played extremely well. I’m still not sure how I can 2-0 ZPST with such a do-nothng deck.

2-0

So I win my first Cities of the season and it feels pretty good. I honestly didn’t know what I was going to do if I didn’t start acquiring points. Obviously I’m still at a very low total, but I at least feel like I can start earning more now and at least have a shot at Worlds. I also want to talk about Championship Point totals and how I think that people are way overestimating the amount it’ll take to qualify for Worlds, but that’s another topic for another article.

Day Two: Blue Highway Games in Seattle, WA

So this day starts out pretty awful. We have to leave the house by 8:30 to make it comfortably for the 10:00 AM registration. Unfortunately my alarm decides not to go off and Chad Bosquez’s — who was sleeping over, pkmnmasterchad on SixPrizes — phone decides to die. We all wake up around 9:15, and around 9:30 are out the door, stressing the entire time about making it. Luckily the staff of Blue Highway along with judges Trevor Whiton and Mary Holocher stall a bit for us and we’re able to get registered no problem. Good thing I took those lessons in light speed driving from Tyler Ninomura!

I play the same exact list from the day before, and it’s announced we’ll have five rounds and a top 4.

Round 1: Chris Ball w/ ReshiPhlosion

pokemon-paradijs.comI’ve never played the ReshiPhlosion match before, but I can imagine it’s pretty horrible. Durant isn’t big on fire types, even if they’re not as bad as Heatmor.

Luckily, he fails to set-up as he should and my mills are extremely strong. I mill several Typhlosions and Reshirams in the opening turns, and by the time he mounts a comeback it’s too late.

1-0

Round 2: David Cohen w/ ZPST

David scoops to me because he is a good person.

We play it out, as he’s never played the matchup before and he absolutely destroys me, as usual.

2-0

Round 3: Paul Ninomura w/ ZPST

Another ZPST, I run so welllllllllll.

Anyway, this game goes as it usually does when I play against this deck, and he fails to get anything set-up. Whenever he does get somewhat of an advantage I have Lost Removers and Crushing Hammers at the ready to cut him off. Paul’s a great player and I wish it would’ve been a better game.

3-0

Round 4: Isaiah Middleton w/ ZPST

As a boy they told me it was impossible to hit four bad matchups in a row. Now I know that was a lie.

This game is not fun. He has the donk but I go first, and am unfortunately stuck on 2 Durant! I’m pretty tilted at this point thinking that there’s no way I can beat this bad of a matchup on 2 Durants, but obviously it’s way too early to scoop or anything of that sort. He goes and is unable to KO my Durant due to Eviolite, and then it gets fun…

pokemon-paradijs.comI N us both down to 6, and in my six are Crushing Hammer, Crushing Hammer, Crushing Hammer, and Lost Remover. I play all of the Crushing Hammer and get three heads in a row, blowing up all of his Energy on board. From then on I’m able to run extremely well with Crushing Hammer flips, even without having more than two Durants for 80% of the game.

Eventually I get my third and fourth Durant and it’s over.

4-0

Round 5: Tyler Ninomura w/ Chandelure

I realize that, as the only 4-0, if I scoop to Tyler, we’ll both be in. So I do so, and we play Pack Wars (the best Pokémon format, in case you didn’t know).

4-1

The top 4 is announced and unfortunately I’m playing Isaiah. I’m pretty sure that if I hadn’t scooped to Tyler I would be playing either Chandelure or Six Corners, both of which would’ve been better matchups for me, but I would much rather my friends succeed with me when at all possible.

Top 4: Isaiah Middleton w/ ZPST

Not even going to really both writing reports for this. He absolutely destroys me both games. The only interesting play comes in Game 2 where I’m one turn away from milling and he has to Catcher to take his last prize. He looks at his discard pile and then Oak’s for all six of the cards left in his deck, hitting the Junk Arm for the game.

Not the games I would’ve liked, but my luck had to run out somewhere.

Tyler ends up beating Chad’s Six Corners in the top 4 and Isaiah’s ZPST in the finals for yet another Cities win.

Conclusion

I still have another weekend of Cities on the horizon, so I’m hoping to earn more points there. I’d really like to get 8 more to crack the 20 point threshold, but I’m not sure how likely that is.

Thanks for reading!

xo
kw

Reader Interactions

76 replies

  1. beyblade1410

    Uhh Don’t worry Kenny, my parents only drove me to 2 cities in the florida marathon and I got 2nd and 3rd in seniors. I have 9 CP now :)

    • Anonymous  → beyblade1410

      I’ve only been able to go to 1 Cities in which I placed 2nd, didn’t go to Regionals, and my parents haven’t decided if I get to go to States or not. *Sigh*

      PS: I didn’t know you were Seniors! :D

      • Dave Enzo  → Anonymous

        Yeah im from RI the smallest place in the world and there was only one cities here.. :/
        i went to one mass but i did poorly in both ..guess next year is my time lol..im in masters tho

      • beyblade1410  → Anonymous

        Oh sorry to hear that, Im a feared player in my area ( Florida ) but neither of my parents or my siblings play, so I really can’t go to a lot. My parents don’t think it’s important and really don’t appreciate it very much. Luckily one of my new friends goes to a ton of tournaments and offered for me to go with him so I have a fighting chance. I’ve beat Henry Prior ( 4th in the world ) Juan Pablo Arenas ( 2nd at worlds last year ) And Andres Arenas ( Florida’s Champ ) I played Reshiphlosion with Ninetales while running 4 Judge and 4 N so it was very good. Good luck at tournaments in the future!

        • Anonymous  → beyblade1410

          Thanks!

          My brother plays, but he doesn’t know what meta is, and he very rarely participates in tournaments. The only reason I haven’t gone to other tournaments was because I had to have a (forced) 3 month break from Pokemon after Worlds, and because whenever there’s a tournament, it seems, my parents are busy.

          Anyways, I hope that your parents soon start to appreciate the game and let you go to more tournaments! :) Good luck, and maybe if we both do good this season, we might finally be able to meet each other face to face at Nats or Worlds. :)

        • beyblade1410  → Anonymous

          I see, with your skill you should teach him, I’m the only boy between my two sisters so its kinda cool, but I’ve always wanted an apprentice that I could teach. I can most likely attend florida states, because members of my team are going so I might hitch a ride ( I’m so considerate :P ) It would be cool to meet you, I love your articles and like your writing style. I think we both have the skill to go far. Here’s some advice: Get some Pokemon friends and carpool, sometimes my friend’s mom will drive and sometimes my mom will drive. I’ll be playing TZPS for states, so I’m ready for a win :) But next time you’re in Florida LMK so we can meet up at a tournament. I have qualified for Nats already but can’t go cause it’s to far. Maybe by doing well at events can show your parents that you should be taken to more stuff, but don’t worry just have fun!

        • Anonymous  → beyblade1410

          Do you have a younger sister? If so, give ’em a couple Oshawotts or some other cute Pokemon. I gave my sister a Grimer a couple years back, and she kept asking for more cards. Now she’s asking if she can play with me and go to tournaments. So as long as you try to stick with the “cuties”, you can coach them into playing competitively and eventually ween them off of cuties and onto the actual meta decks.

          I’ve got a pretty good size league, and this one Pokedad and his sons almost always carpool to events, so I almost always have a back-up if my dad isn’t able to take me.

          Also, do you have an account on PlayTCG? If so, we should battle. :D

        • beyblade1410  → Anonymous

          Ya ive tried :( they are not really into it yet they are 5 and 7 so they are quite young. Ive never played playtcg before but ill sign up so we can play each other, or pm me on pokegym, I have the same username. Are there any cards you need for certain, if.i have them ill send them to you for free :0

  2. Roarkiller Master

    SPREAD THE INFESTATION!!! XD

    I think you have a little too many supporters there. I’d rather drop off an N or two for an extra pokegear and/or dual ball; in fact, maxed out dual ball is very god play, combined with maxed out pokegear to hit the T1 setup.

    The play on cobalion, as you have guessed, is to leave it as a game closer, but starting with it is worse than starting with rotom unless you run switch. An extra energy is good for this, or if you can fit it in, rescue energy. The latter frees up the burden of trying to continuously revive durants, and excellent against a T2 vileplume.

    The matchup against ZPST, barring donks, lies in hitting eviolites and keeping off zekroms, who ironically are the most susceptible to energy disruption. I find it a pretty okay matchup, roughly 55-45 in durant’s favor.

    There’s a combo I’ve been meaning to try: good rod and victory medal. Together, they can help recycle revives and durants more efficiently than junk arm. Maybe a 1-1 noctowl line instead of victory medal, or straight draw supporters.

    • Kenny Wisdom  → Roarkiller

      Eh, I never felt like I had too many supporters. Definitely not against dropping some, but I felt comfortable with it most of the time. I would’ve liked more Dual Ball though, no doubt.

      I ended up taking Cobal out this weekend (I got 3rd, will make a report soon) and didn’t miss it at all.

      I disagree about the Zekrom match-up. I think it’s like 65/35 in Zekrom’s favor. I’ve been able to beat it a handful of times but you just have to run really well, at least in my experience. Agreed with a lot of your analysis though.

      Oh yeah, I’ve been meaning to try Victory Medals, good points about that, will have to try that out.

      Thanks for reading!

  3. Anonymous

    Great article as usual, Kenny! I’m glad to see you win an event. :)

  4. Anonymous

    I know it’s a part of comradre and all that good stuff, but I can’t help thinking that TCPI never intended for the amount of scooping to other people displayed in the above report(s)

    Never the less, a fun report.

    • Kenny Wisdom  → Anonymous

      I think it’s fine as long as there’s no collusion happening. In any of the above situations, I would’ve done the same if I were on the other side of the able. No reason to dreamcrush your friend when it doesn’t change anything for you, y’know?

      Thanks for reading! :D

      • Anonymous  → Kenny

        A fair statement. I ask you this: Had you NOT known the person you were playing, would you still have scooped to let them in the topcut? How about if scooping to them would push a friend of yours OUT of topcut?

        By scooping to your friend, by definition, you kicked somebody else out of the topcut. When one goes in, one goes out.

        • Kenny Wisdom  → Anonymous

          If I hadn’t known Tyler I definitely wouldn’t have scooped, no. My thought is that if I can help a friend succeed in such a way that it doesn’t radically effect me, I will. I probably would’ve beaten Tyler (the match-up is favorable), but all that would’ve done is possibly knock him out and change almost nothing for me. Seeing my friends succeed is nearly as important to me as succeeding myself.

          If we still had IDs, Tyler and I would’ve just drawn the last round, I suspect.

          I definitely see what you’re saying though, I’ve had this discussion here before. At the end of the day, it’s certainly an advantage to have teams/friends willing to concede to you, no doubt about that.

        • Anonymous  → Kenny

          I’m with cabd, I think… lol

          Scooping to friends ticks me off to no end. It is implicit collusion. There are no, ifs, ands, or buts about it. Collusion doesn’t have to be audibly communicated. It also does not have to be mutually beneficial. You are agreeing with your friend to take a loss and alter the course of the event. You are directly denying another person who played completely fairly a chance to reap their rewards.

          Each player has the duty to play each game to the best of their abilities and play to win (within each game). I’ve been on the wrong side of this where a group of friends have scooped and then I get left out. It is about as close to cheating as you can get (sometimes even crosses the line) as far as I’m concerned. I haven’t always felt this way, but more and more people are doing it. More and more people think there is nothing wrong with it.

          Ross doesn’t make TC at Worlds if Fullop doesn’t scoop him a free when (even after Fullop beat him). Now, you tell me how that player who got 17th feels when he found that out? Tell me with a straight face how you could look someone in the eye and tell them that they don’t deserve the spoils of their hard work, yet, your friend deserves a free pass into the Top Cut. This is pure bologna.

          I don’t care if it is your friend, brother, or mother. The game and the other competitors deserve as fair of a playing field as possible. It’s not cool at all that this idea of scooping to help friends is catching on, especially in what seems to be a more wide spread audience.

          Now, if you want to “play for fun” and play a crappy deck. I have no problems with this.

          Also, if you want out of a tournament, then just drop between rounds.

        • Roarkiller Master  → Anonymous

          If you’re referring to Worlds ’11, #17 was my friend Nelson. And he was pretty bummed about losing out on resistance.

        • Emily  → Roarkiller

          and now he’s over it and had his grudge match against Mr. Fulop and is a friend of mine. Losing on resistance doesn’t come down to just who scooped, but how well everyone else did and who didn’t drop.

        • Roarkiller Master  → Emily

          Word. And he’s already pretty proud to have gone the furthest from our country (Singapore), so no worries.

          Of course, he’s having a mean streak in the US now while in university though, so watch out XD

        • Kenny Wisdom  → Anonymous

          So, I really don’t like being accused of collusion. The events highlighted in the report are NOT collusion whatsoever. Feel free to have whatever discussions you’d like and express whatever opinions you’d like, but I do not appreciate being called a cheater. That is totally and completely out of line, in my opinion. =

        • Anonymous  → Kenny

          I never said that you cheated. I did say that it was implicit collusion. I’m entitled to call it whatever I want. Implicit collusion is different from explicit collusion, and that is clearly outlawed in the rules.

          Just because something is “legal” does not make it good.

        • Martin Garcia  → Anonymous

          I normally agree with your posts hawk but im afraid not this time. And Im not sure i would go as far as calling it collusion either.
          While it doesnt look pretty to the pleople who missed cut, you cant directly place the blame on the player who scooped. The players who missed cut did so because:

          A) they lost one or two matches they shuldnt have.
          B) The opponents they played against didnt do too well, or did worse than the person who topcutted.

          As Fulop said, there are certain tactical advantages to scooping a game, for whatever reason.
          Since its not ilegal (and i dont think it should be, even if they could find a way to penalize it) I see no real problem with doing it.

          I mean, sure, it may bother some people, particularly the ones who missed cut on resistance, and it does seem unfair to take a team into a game and then scoop among themselves to get in cut, but its as legal a strategy as scouting to choose a deck that takes advantage of the metagame, or maximizing your play time during a match to win on time. After all, this is one of the adavantages of playing in a team, and keep in mind that pleople dont “take a team” shut to make them scoop to you, it just so happens that they have to face each other on the final rounds.
          All these may seem like they are the worst and go against SOTG, but as long as you do them within the stablished rules, there should be no reason for anyone to complain.

          As Fulop said, sccoping to dodge bad matchups, or to try to get good ones, is a perfectly legal tactic that can be used when its convenient. It can also be used to knock out of cut a match up you dont want to face, as mean and harsh as it sounds.
          In this case, Kenny made use of that to help a friend, and while i dont confess myself a fan of him or anything, i feel that this accusation is a bit over the top.

          Did it ever occur to your, that perhaps he preferred to play against a chandelure list he knew perefectly, rather than a completely unknown opponet, or worse, a bad match up?
          In these kind of situations, “choosing” your opponent is a great advantage that comes tied to your good performance in the swiss.
          Had done poorly, you wouldnt get the chance to scoop to anyone, since you would need to win everything to get a shot at cut.

          Also, isnt scooping to save time on match play a legal move too? And a smart one, at that, since you get a tactical advantage in the second (and possibly third) game.

          So why should scooping a match on swiss be ilegal, or looked down on, while in cut its not?

        • Anonymous  → Martin

          It’s cool that you disagree. No hard feelings there. Now if I may:

          I completely understand that the player who whiffed on resistance could have done other things. They are not without fault here. However, I do not like the fact that by having a team/friends scoop, the player who made top cut had a drastic advantage outside of the actual game.

          Also, here you are completely missing the point and failing to use analogous hypothetical situations. In all of your points, the player scoops to create a tactical advantage for oneself.

          In the article’s case (and most of the hypos here), the player scoops to directly give their opponent a space in the top cut and directly take a space away from another. Ie. They created a tactical advantage for someone else.

          These are two drastically different situations and the difference is motive. You are implicitly colluding to get your opponent (friend) into the top cut. You are making a conscious choice to skew the tournament results through an exclusive advantage. He told us why he scooped, and it was not to create an advantage for himself.

          Now, you all need to learn to not extrapolate. I never, EVER said that Kenny cheated. I did say that he implicitly colluded. This is not the same as explicit collusion, which is clearly outlawed. I also said that sometimes this could be considered cheating. But again, I never said that Kenny cheated in the above article.

          Latter on (read a few posts down), I even said that there is now way that a judge should issue any punishment on this. So, I admitted that it is not illegal. However, just because something is legal, it is not always desirable.

          It has been tossed around that the only reason why scooping to help a friend is not outlawed is because it is impossible to tell the difference between scooping to help yourself and scooping to help another. However, this clearly shows that scooping to help another is frowned upon (or was) by some more important people than myself.

        • Martin Garcia  → Anonymous

          I get your points, and understand the difference between two scooping situations, but in the end, even if he didnt scoop to help a friend, he might have done so to help himself.

          My point is, why should it matter who he helps?

          Even if he scooped for reasons different from helping a friend get into cut, he is definitly “skewing” the results of the tournament, using your words. Some examples:

          1) If he scoops his last round to knock someone out of cut because he doesnt want to face that match up, he is altering the results, and creating a tactical advantage for himself.

          2) If he goes X-0 and decides to scoop because he doesnt want to face the 7th or 8th place for whatever reason, he is probably altering the opponenets %, therefore altering the results of the swiss, AND creating an advantage for himself.

          3) If he scoops to let a friend enter cut, he is altering the results all the same, but this time is creating an advantage for someone else, even if, in my opinion, this move also benefits him, even if indirectly, and even if he himself was unaware of it.

          So, cases 1 and 2 are socially okay, but 3 is not?
          That doesnt make any sense to me.

          Be it scooping to help a friend, a stranger or himself, and for whataver reasons he saw worthy, he decided that losing that match would benefint him MORE than winning.

          As you said, someone got an advantage outside the match, but its not out of the “game”. It may be unrelated to the match the 2 should be playing, but its definitly a part of the game.
          You cant just decide that scooping gives an unfair advantage, and is therefore “bad”, since if that were the case, luck also would give an unfair advantage to some people, yet this is recognised as a part of the game.

          About the “cheating” thing, im not really blaming you or anything. Its just that it seemed a bit like a strong acussation, even if it was not, and even if you didnt say it word by word, many people have, so i wanted to make my opinion clear to avoid further misunderstandings.

        • Anonymous  → Martin

          in cut its not looked down upon to scopp when you KNOW you lost. its a best 2 of 3 game and you have a time limit. some decks need the extra time so when they know they gonna lose they scoop to save time. i did it once because i hate wasting people’s time. but i played the game to the piont that i knew there was NO way for a comeback.

          and you can’t blame the guy who would have cut for bad luck or bad pairings.

          and scooping just to try to get a better match-up seems really cruddy. i mean if this is how you win tournemants then fine. but i hate to know i won a tourny just because i played all 4 of the guys running chandy out of 30 people.

          and choosing a deck to beat your metagame is strategy. scopping among friends isn’t. to run a deck when its public knowledge what the meta is isn’t wrong. but like cabd says, when one comes in, another goes out.

        • Anonymous  → Kenny

          cabd’s right. by putting tyler in, you put another guy(Who might have deserved it more) out. i understand not raging on a friend but it just doesnt seem fair to some people. it’s like dropping in the piont system we have. there’s no piont since by losing you don’t LOSE anything. you just don’t win anything. i’ve missed top cut because some pople act like dooshes and drop the tourny because they got bad match-ups(and half is thier fault. like reshiphlosion being big where i am and a guy goes to a CC with durant)

        • Lynx Meche  → Kenny

          That could even be considered an unfair advantage. Not everybody has a group of friends willing to say, “Nope, I don’t care, I’ll just let you go ahead.” I’d be mad if someone tossed down their cards on seeing me, so everyone in the group I play with is willing to play matches out and get to the end fairly. Heck if you’ll ever see me conceding to Cabd even if his chance at top cut depends on me losing. If he deserves top cut, he’ll beat me, and vice versa. (But also heck if I’ll ever get top cut any time in the next four years.)

          I don’t see why we aren’t allowed to expect other groups of friends to play things out fairly the same way. The advantage in a Pokemon game is supposed to come down to what deck you were paired against, and not from bringing a group of people who are only there to boost your chances. It’s too much of exploiting a loophole, but unfortunately this is too much like the “declumping” thing. It’s too hard to prove to do anything about it.

  5. Alex Holdway

    It makes me almost physically sick to read that friends are scooping to friends so that they can all make Top Cut. cabd and ah make such valid points it’s not even funny.

    I, and many other players across the globe, don’t have the luxury to be in “teams” and work together to make sure who gets points and who doesn’t. I work my bollocks off tourney after tourney trying for points and feeling really proud of myself when I do to hear this?!

    Rest assured I have been on the receiving end of not making TC on resistance and if it was ever due to this there would serious consequences. I know its no where near as bad the guy who cheated in Professor Cup in the summer, but I promise you, its close.

  6. Jak Stewart-Armstead

    I don’t blame Kenny for doing this.

    This is just another reason why draws and intentional draws need to come back to the game.

  7. Adam Capriola

    I enjoyed the reports Kenny, but like other people, I was kind of taken back by the amount of scooping. I’m sure there are lots of other players out there that scoop for friends as well, and it’s probably much more prevalent than people realize.

    My stance is that you should always play it out and do your best. I can see situations where maybe it’s advantageous for you to scoop (it’s last round, you’re X-0 playing an X-1 who is using a deck you match up well against, and would like to potentially face in top cut), but if you’re scooping solely because you’re playing against a friend and you want to help them out, I think that’s wrong.

      • Jak Stewart-Armstead  → Riley

        Then you shouldn’t be a judge.

        However you feel about it, scooping is not against the rules. It’s not a judge’s place to impose their own morality and DQ players for perfectly legal actions.

        • Riley August  → Jak

          Sorry, but this is very clearly team play, and the fact that this is getting support here disgusts me. I’m starting to see why north american “champions” have such questionable histories.

        • Jak Stewart-Armstead  → Riley

          It’s not that I ‘support’ it as such, just that I recognise that it is perfectly legal. The rules couldn’t be any clearer . . .

          ‘10.1. Conceding a Match
          Players may concede a match to their opponents if they wish’

          The solution is in everyone’s hands – if you don’t want to bubble out of cut because of scooping to friends . . . don’t be on the bubble.

        • Riley August  → Jak

          I suggest you read the penalty guidelines on team play. You may also wish to look at your state laws on bookmaking, because in most places this fits the definition. :)

      • Anonymous  → Riley

        Yeah, baby_mario is correct. As much as I HATE scooping to friends, a judge has not business handing out DQs for it. Unless, the two players made an EXPLICIT agreement that amounts to explicit collusion.

        IMO, it is like declumping. It is not illegal, thus no penalties, but it should be highly frowned upon.

        @Adam: Your point is a very interesting one. I’ve never thought about scooping to a person just so that I would get to play them in TC for a good match up. That is some interesting food for thought.

      • Balasar  → Riley

        and if i saw you doing that, then you’d be kicked out of the professor program! (and i don’t think that you’d quite like that)

  8. Ross Gilbert

    I know a lovely man called Mike. He plays pokemon because his son plays. I play him at pretty much every tournament i go to at the moment. I’m trying to win points (badly) and he isn’t. I “need” them more than him. We play full games! EVERY time.

    At Nottingham States i was one win away from cut, he was not. He beat me. I missed cut. EXACTLY as it should be.

    I have to ask though: How would you have done for points this weekend had you not had a free win in each tournament?

    I usually enjoy your articles man but you essentially cheated for championship points. Don’t know how strong that sounds but you won championship points from tournaments where you won games you didn’t play because your friend wanted to manipulate results to get you into cut. Hmm, guess that is cheating.

    • Kenny Wisdom  → Ross

      It’s obviously not bad to play the game out. Like, that’s awesome that you and Mike play. That has nothing to do with me.

      It is not cheating. You should probably read the rules of Pokemon tournament play before you accuse me of cheating.

      • Ross Gilbert  → Kenny

        As with someone above, i never explicitly said you cheated. I said it is “essentially cheating” that you and your friend “manipulated results” (which is, from the report definitely true) and that i “guess that is cheating”.

        To spell it out, i think what you did is wrong (and were i to set the rules it would be cheating – but i don’t) but i stopped short of saying “you cheated” because i don’t have any proof that you actually broke any of the rules. And yes, i do know the tournament rules.

        In the rules it refers to “bribery” being against the rules, that being where someone is offered “any form of compensation” to alter the outcome of a match. Now i think there’s an interesting question in terms of what counts as compensation, for instance: how about an agreement that each person will concede games in different tournaments? Would this mutually beneficial relationship and the fee wins associated therein be regarded as “compensation”. Honest answer is i don’t know. I think it’s an interesting question but i certainly don’t know enough about the specifics of what happened or PIPs definitions of “compensation” to make a firm judgement.

        I am a fan of your writing, push the like button on almost all of your articles and have given you a writer of the month vote on more than one occasion so please don’t think this is anything personal. I am talking completely objectively. I have literally been to tournaments where someone has gone to small tournament with multiple friends who are there purely to concede if they play him to try and increase his chances of winning.

        To be clear: I think any time someone concedes a match to help their friend then someone else is getting screwed purely by virtue of having the wrong friends. I find this abhorrent. I am fully aware you are not the only person who engages in such behaviour but my comments go here as this article raised the debate.

        Rest assured all your future articles will be judges purely on their own merit. Nothing personal :D

        • Riley August  → Ross

          This is clearly up to the head judge, and the judges I know who still have some integrity left (as it slowly slips from this game it seems) would make the right call.

        • Lynx Meche  → Riley

          Right, like, “We need to be clear with the players and can’t leave any loopholes open in order to keep the game fair, so we can’t just hand out disqualifications left and right for unclear reasons.” Seriously, if you’re Mr. High-and-Mighty Law, imagine the situation that happens after we allow a rule that’s based on subjective opinion. One passes, then usually another one passes. The players get confused and angry, rules aren’t clear, judges have to decide on the rules based on opinion and not a rulebook, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria.

  9. Kenny Wisdom

    Just to balance this thread out, here are some of Chris Fulop’s thoughts via The Pokegym….

    “Ok, let me just be as untactful as possible: Grow up.

    The biggest issue at hand is that you CANNOT enforce scooping. Ban it? The players discuss it on their own, and play a mock game. You can’t enforce anything, and Magic, and Pokemon, and every other TCG have acknowledged this, which is why it is a legal thing to do. LITERALLY unenforcable. SO, when an action is legal, there is no reason, moral, ethical, whatever, that a player should be looked down upon for doing it.

    In Magic, who, bias against Magic or not, has by far the best organized play structure. And the most successful, and stable. If you dislike the game, for whatever reason, they ARE the frontrunner in terms of established Organized Play. THAT is not arguable. THAT is something that if you asked the people at Nintendo, will even admit themselves.

    What makes me laugh is watching the live coverage done officially at bigger magic tournaments. The articles written as coverage, and the announcers streaming the videos, openly discuss the use of Intential Draws, and Concessions. At Worlds, their premier team, Channel Fireball, placed 4 members into the top 8 after 15 or 16 rounds of play. The announcers spent a good portion of the time during the final few rounds deciding on who they expected to draw, who they expected to scoop ( with the intention of either changing the t8 bracket for matchup purposes, or to get teammates in…or to keep bad matchups OUT ) and even went so far as to disagree with certain concession tactics, claiming it would have been in their best interest to concede, or not. The player base simply accepts that it is a part of the game, and not some “shady play” because, uh, it isn’t? If every player can do it, and it is acknowledged as legal, there is no shame in doing it. You may be aggrivated by losing a game to a fantastic draw by your opponent, but they played by the rules, and standings, and tie breakers, and cut offs, while not mechanics of the game play, are EVERY BIT as much a part of the tournament. I’ve personally conceded the last round of events when X-1 at a tournemant, going to X-2 ( while safe to still cut ) so I would play against the middle of the pack top cut if I felt there were a lot of better matchups, and scarier ones at the bottom bit of decks ) There are tactical advantages to scooping too. Don’t take it personally if it knocks you out. It wasn’t a personal attack. The scooping player either had things to gain ( placing themselves in a better spot in the top cut, letting a matchup they feel is good for them into cut, knocking out a bad one- maybe yours, which well, while KINDA personal is more professional :P ) or they were helping friends. You may be offended that a player scooped a friend in, but at the same time, how do you think that friend feels, or reacts, if they don’t? Keep in mind, a majority of players either accept that scooping is ok, or at least done regularly, or don’t care either way. That friend has reasonable expectation to be offended or hurt otherwise too.

    Can you say you’ll never scoop to someone? Sure. Could you hope others don’t? Sure, you could hope they don’t take turn one kills on you too, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Don’t morally judge others for how YOU’D handle a situation when what they are doing is completely legal. Its childish, and makes you sound like a jerk. You know how you seem to think a player who scoops comes off looking bad? Most other people think the same about your illegitimate whining.

    Now, yes, I’m not exactly being tactful ( ok so I’m intentionally being rude ) but I figure I’d stay in the vein of the thread in the first place. I’m surprised this has gotten as much attention as it has, to be honest. The fact the Kenny Wisdom is being singled out for his “sins” ( and I guess myself a little, but I’ve gotten all the backlash from that already… ) is stupid. If you disagree with the legality of scooping ( if so, hey, good for you, good luck finding a way to stop it ) thats fine, but to pass judgment on people who choose to perform an act they are told they can do, is wrong. I wouldn’t really care about this thread in the first place, but that type of mindset is really what set me off and motivated me to bother. Thanks for once again reminding me why sometimes I really dislike people.”

    http://pokegym.net/forums/showpost.php?p=2181812&postcount=56

    • Roarkiller Master  → Kenny

      Word. And I totally agree that scooping is not just perfectly okay by my book, but just as good a tactical as in-game progress itself.

      As they say, all’s fair in love and war and pokemon.

    • Lynx Meche  → Kenny

      Most people here didn’t call it cheating. Fulop has a point in that it’s impossible to enforce and very easy to fake. However, it is odd that you defended yourself by copy/pasting a huge post by Chris Fulop instead of using your own words, or even just linking it. I do find it funny that he openly insults other players and call him names when telling us to grow up and stop being childish. (Fulop is openly rude and people are okay, but I concrit or make a joke and suddenly I’ve insulted the world? =( /alsoajokesodon’ttakeitseriously)

      Now, I’ll admit to having thrown a match to make a friend feel better once before, but the difference in that? The guy I was playing hadn’t won a single match that day, and it was the last match; I played terribly and gave him the win, and then we went home and everybody had a win. You know what didn’t happen? I didn’t boot anybody out of top cut because it was too late and we were at the low tables anyways.

      If we had to ban scooping to friends, I’d be DQ’d in that case because rules aren’t a gray morality thing. It needs to be settled concrete and they can’t say, “It’s different for you because reasons.” There are a whole lot of things that are technically legal but people hate it, like nepotism in the work place. Are you allowed to hire a niece to work under you? Sure. Are people going to be upset when that niece gets 40 hours that week and the others average 15? Of course. Can you do anything about it? No way to prove that it’s not just because they’re a hard worker or customer favorite, and everyone just goes away angry.

        • Balasar  → Riley

          and you’re one of the people who hurt our pride. may i point you in the direction of a good old all-american song that might help. “This ain’t no rag, it’s a flag” by The Charlie Daniels Band.

        • Lynx Meche  → Riley

          Pokemon = politics? Regardless of Pokemon, that’s still a stretch there to say that’s the only thing. If you can find a way to make a gray-area law, or even rule, that can determine definite intent without exploiting many loopholes to avoid it, be my guest. Too close to anarchy, otherwise.

          We’re still not done with that mind-reading technology and a lie detector won’t hold up in court (and I REALLY don’t think people will drag an entire lie detector test to a Pokemon tournament over scooping and “declumping”), so…bit of a standstill.

  10. Adam Capriola

    I just want to throw a couple scenarios out here… assume in all cases you care about ratings/points (so you can try to qualify for Worlds) and your friend is just playing for fun. Nothing is premeditated and your friend genuinely decides spur of the moment they want to help you out when you play against each other.

    Scenario 1: You bring 1 friend to the tournament, and you play each other round 1.

    Friend scoops to you since they are just playing for fun and don’t want to hurt your chance to earn points. Seems reasonable, right?

    Scenario 2: You bring 1 friend to the tournament, and you play each other in the final Swiss round, which will determine who makes cut.

    Friend scoops to you because they know you’re trying hard to earn points, and scooping essentially guaranteeing you of earning some. Of course, you did have to win a certain amount of games to get to that point. Again, this is legal and sounds acceptable to most people.

    Scenario 3: You bring 3 friends to the tournament, and you end up playing against all 3 of them (in various rounds).

    They all scoop to you, netting you 3 wins, making it much easier for you to make top cut. Ok, now we’re starting to tread water…

    Scenario 4: You bring 6 friends to the tournament, and play against all of them during a 6 rounds of Swiss tournament.

    They all scoop to you, getting you free ratings points without ever having to actually win a game. And… we’re there. The ship has sunken.

    Now of course these are are hypothetical and unlikely (who has 6 friends that would scoop to them?), but they’re all possible. It’s such a slippery slope to judge between what is right and wrong. If Scenario 4 is blatantly wrong (I think most of us could agree upon that), then what makes Scenario 1 or 2 ok? Where do you draw the line? (This is a rhetorical question, just think about it.)

    In the end, it’s about a player being rewarded for knowing the right people, rather than in game skill, which I don’t think is what Pokemon intends. Obviously it is currently perfectly legal to scoop in any of those scenarios, and there are plenty of other scenarios where you might need to scoop which have nothing to have to do with friends.

    If Pokemon were ever to try and enforce a new rule to prevent immoral scooping, I have no idea how any judge would be able to discern what is “right” and what is “wrong”. Again, where is the line drawn? We’re probably just going to have to live with it.

    It’s like the question of whether you allow take-backs. It comes down to the individual. “No, I don’t allow take-backs… unless I’m playing a friend.” “Yeah, I scoop for friends, but not for people I don’t know or don’t like.” etc… Everyone is perfectly entitled to have their opinion on the issue though. The only subject thing we can say is pretty much any type of scooping is legal.

    • Martin Garcia  → Adam

      I still think its a really interesting discussion, still, we should try not to get ourselves too heated up, keep it cool and civilized, and who knows, we may even learn something.

    • Riley August  → Adam

      You’re forgetting the “intent to manipulate the outcome” clause of A) the team play rulings B) criminal law with respect to prized events and fraud in most jurisdictions. Just because section A says something’s okay doesn’t mean it’s legitimate, or legal, or right.

      • Lynx Meche  → Riley

        So where do you get the proof? Just because one player tries to win points and the other doesn’t care, you can’t use that as the ONLY reason to scoop. I’ve seen people toss their cards because of a specific bad matchup to save time, or because their start was terrible, or even because they just wanted to get lunch and food > Pokemon.

        Conceding a match is legal. But unless if those people, right there, say that the match is being forfeited because he wants to give his friend a better chance at points, as airhawk said, it’s implicit. “It’s the only plausible reason” isn’t enough evidence on the spot.

    • Lynx Meche  → Adam

      Definitely an interesting way of laying it out. Easier to read and explain than just asking, “What if blah blah happens?” I can see where you come from if you just want to help a friend, but it doesn’t hurt to, you know, play it out? At least set up a scenario where your friend can donk you rather than proudly showing in others’ faces that they have an outside resource that others lack or refuse to use on moral ground?

      It’s a little like with the declumping thing, but with less preventatives. If you believe your opponent is declumping in order to stack their deck, you can call a judge and claim stacking, shuffle their deck for them, something along those lines. But if it’s two people next to you and one just says he quits with no explanation, the judge is probably just going to sigh and shake his head upon you for saying, “He quit, they must be cheating.”

    • Lynx Meche  → Adam

      Definitely an interesting way of laying it out. Easier to read and explain than just asking, “What if blah blah happens?” I can see where you come from if you just want to help a friend, but it doesn’t hurt to, you know, play it out? At least set up a scenario where your friend can donk you rather than proudly showing in others’ faces that they have an outside resource that others lack or refuse to use on moral ground?

      It’s a little like with the declumping thing, but with less preventatives. If you believe your opponent is declumping in order to stack their deck, you can call a judge and claim stacking, shuffle their deck for them, something along those lines. But if it’s two people next to you and one just says he quits with no explanation, the judge is probably just going to sigh and shake his head upon you for saying, “He quit, they must be cheating.”

    • Alex Holdway  → Adam

      This is fair, but I’m starting to see why it can’t be mediated or classed as illegal except when compensation is involved. And my point is, why isn’t the prospect of CPs the bribe?

      If in the final round of Swiss you win to X-1 and may bubble on resistance, why should the two friends be allowed to collude in another match so that they both can make cut and get points? Well they should based on the laws of the game, but what if one of them isn’t desperately trying to make it to Worlds and then I, or someone else who is, loses out on points. THAT is where the problem lies.

      • Adam Capriola  → Alex

        That is a really interesting point about how CPs could be considered a bribe. I never thought about that before!

        I know in the past there was one instance involving Pablo Meza where I think his opponent agreed to scoop in the finals if Pablo gave him the prizes (booster box or whatever) so Pablo could get the automatic Worlds invite from winning the tournament. (I think that was the scenario… not 100% sure. It was a number of years back and my memory is a little hazy.)

        Anyway, Pablo got suspended the next season for doing that. In these current cases of scooping, there are scenarios where the benefiting player will pretty much be guaranteed CPs, which aren’t Worlds invites obviously, but they are quasi-Worlds invites (meaning if you get enough of them, you do get an invite).

        The scooping player here isn’t getting any compensation and it isn’t explicitly premeditated, but man, it does parallel Pablo’s scenario on a number of levels. Scooping to a friend obviously isn’t as extreme, but again I’ll use the phrase “slippery slope.”

  11. Adam Capriola

    I just want to throw a couple scenarios out here… assume in all cases you care about ratings/points (so you can try to qualify for Worlds) and your friend is just playing for fun. Nothing is premeditated and your friend genuinely decides spur of the moment they want to help you out when you play against each other.

    Scenario 1: You bring 1 friend to the tournament, and you play each other round 1.

    Friend scoops to you since they are just playing for fun and don’t want to hurt your chance to earn points. Seems reasonable, right?

    Scenario 2: You bring 1 friend to the tournament, and you play each other in the final Swiss round, which will determine who makes cut.

    Friend scoops to you because they know you’re trying hard to earn points, and scooping essentially guaranteeing you of earning some. Of course, you did have to win a certain amount of games to get to that point. Again, this is legal and sounds acceptable to most people.

    Scenario 3: You bring 3 friends to the tournament, and you end up playing against all 3 of them (in various rounds).

    They all scoop to you, netting you 3 wins, making it much easier for you to make top cut. Ok, now we’re starting to tread water…

    Scenario 4: You bring 6 friends to the tournament, and play against all of them during a 6 rounds of Swiss tournament.

    They all scoop to you, getting you free ratings points without ever having to actually win a game. And… we’re there. The ship has sunken.

    Now of course these are are hypothetical and unlikely (who has 6 friends that would scoop to them?), but they’re all possible. It’s such a slippery slope to judge between what is right and wrong. If Scenario 4 is blatantly wrong (I think most of us could agree upon that), then what makes Scenario 1 or 2 ok? Where do you draw the line? (This is a rhetorical question, just think about it.)

    In the end, it’s about a player being rewarded for knowing the right people, rather than in game skill, which I don’t think is what Pokemon intends. Obviously it is currently perfectly legal to scoop in any of those scenarios, and there are plenty of other scenarios where you might need to scoop which have nothing to have to do with friends.

    If Pokemon were ever to try and enforce a new rule to prevent immoral scooping, I have no idea how any judge would be able to discern what is “right” and what is “wrong”. Again, where is the line drawn? We’re probably just going to have to live with it.

    It’s like the question of whether you allow take-backs. It comes down to the individual. “No, I don’t allow take-backs… unless I’m playing a friend.” “Yeah, I scoop for friends, but not for people I don’t know or don’t like.” etc… Everyone is perfectly entitled to have their opinion on the issue though. The only subject thing we can say is pretty much any type of scooping is legal.

  12. Balasar

    @kenny wisdom: i’m really surprised that you can acctually put up with this crap. i find that scooping to a friend is just being a good samaritan and would run quasi-parallel with christian beliefs. (i.e. “help thy neighbor”)

  13. Steven Nilsen

    Thanks for the reference to pack wars! We’ve got a new way to play next booster box!

  14. hiroprotagonist

    1) A high school football coach decides to play his starters for the entire game, even though his team was up 60-0 in the middle of the third quarter. This isn’t against the rules. The referees can’t give him a penalty or tell him he can’t do it. It is bad sportsmanship, and the opposing team would certainly have a reason to complain about the conduct of that coach, even if they couldn’t do anything to prevent his actions.
    2) A man and his girlfriend walk into a nice restaurant, order $100 worth of food, and receive excellent service from their waitress, who works solely on tips. They pay the bill and leave no money for a tip. According to the law, they are under no obligation to leave a tip. It is extremely poor etiquette, and the waitress and her co-workers would certainly have a reason to speak poorly of that person, even though they could legally do nothing about it. (although if that guy doesn’t want to eat food that someone has spit on, he would be wise not to return to that restaurant!)
    3) A woman pays for groceries with a $20 bill, and should receive $5 in change. She gets out to her car and realizes that the cashier accidently gave her back $25 instead of $5. She is under no legal obligation to give the money back, rationalizing that it was not her fault she got back more than she was supposed to. The fault was with the clerk who made the mistake. Most honest people would feel that the woman in question was very inconsiderate, even could call her dishonest, even though legally, there is nothing that could be done.

    I agree with Chris Fulop’s comments in this regard: There is no way that a judge can say that scooping was against the rules. It is clearly that player’s right to scoop for whatever reason he or she sees fit. However, scooping to get your friend into the top cut is also obvious collusion. It gives an unfair advantage to a player at the expense of another player. If scooping helped one player but did not hurt another, I would have no problem with it. I really don’t have a problem with someone scooping to help their own position. But I think it is poor etiquette and poor sportsmanship for someone to scoop to help their friend top cut when they know they are giving an unfair advantage to that person. We can’t do anything about it because it is not against the rules, but we can complain about that person in the same way we could reasonably complain about the coach who ran up the score.

    • Ross Gilbert  → hiroprotagonist

      3) A woman pays for groceries with a $20 bill, and should receive $5 in change. She gets out to her car and realizes that the cashier accidently gave her back $25 instead of $5. She is under no legal obligation to give the money back, rationalizing that it was not her fault she got back more than she was supposed to. The fault was with the clerk who made the mistake. Most honest people would feel that the woman in question was very inconsiderate, even could call her dishonest, even though legally, there is nothing that could be done.

      Certainly under UK law this is very much against the law. As soon as the person realises the mistake they are legally bound to make restitution (return the extra money) and if they keep the money this will be Theft which they could be prosecuted for and face a maximum sentence of 7 years (Theft Act 1967).

      I am no expert on US law and am aware that there are differences in the law of the UK and US but in this particular instance i believe it WOULD be theft.

      Similarly, if you order a TV off the internet and they send two you do not get to legally keep, selkl or otherwise dispose of the second.

      • Lynx Meche  → Ross

        It’s kind of a gray area in the US, to my understanding. I’ve never heard anything explicit about it, although I really do think there should be.

        Personal example, my little sister ordered some phone on the internet, don’t remember what it is, but refurbished cost about $80 so it’s not exactly an old brick Nokia. But we opened the box, received two. We called the company back since we only paid for one. They said we weren’t under any obligation to send it back, and that they’d rather us keep it anyways than deal with a return. I’m not sure how normal that is, but I’ve never heard of jail time for it.

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