Thoughts on the 2012-2013 Season’s Formats

Hello everyone, Mathias here with another article. I’ve been quite busy so it’s been a while since I wrote last, but there is something I really wish to talk about: the current state of the Pokémon TCG. It’s an important topic which has not been receiving too much attention recently and I wish to shine a spotlight at it.

In this article, I will carefully take dissect the four metagames we have had this year and explain what I felt was good and bad about them. After that, I will give some examples from older formats to drive home some of my points. Let’s dive in, shall we?

The BLW–DRX Format
Eelektrik sunk its four little teeth into this season early on.

Our current metagame started in August last year with the new dragons. I was actually quite excited, since it was my second year since I came back into the game and started playing seriously, but I was very disappointed. My issue with this format was how boring it was.

There were three good archetypes: RayEels, Speed Darkrai/Terrakion, and Darkrai/Hydreigon. You can make arguments for Garbodor, Ho-Oh, Mewtwo/Eels, and Empoleon, but I never felt those decks were threats. RayEels was in my opinion the absolute best deck of that format, and with one Tool Scrapper and one Zekrom, I had every matchup covered.

When it comes to the skill part I guess it was about average. Because of the starter rule, way too many games went down to whoever started, but with a lot of counter cards like Terrakion and the Dragon Weakness, it was sometimes favorable to go second. I remember a match at a Battle Road where my opponent went first and put down too many of his Rayquaza EXs and I could play around that and win even though I went second.

I guess the format was ok, but way too boring (for me at least).

The BLW–BCR Format

This was, in my opinion, the best format this year. It was incredible how much variation we had with Darkrai variants, Eels variants, Ho-Oh, Garbodor, Big Basics, and so much more. The fun thing was that everything was viable and could win as long as you made the right moves. It was fun to come to league and see what people were playing.

Tournaments became hectic and tricky when there were so many decks you could face. I played a total of seven tournaments in this format and I also played seven different decks. I might be a bit biased though since this was the format where I grinded like 380 Points.

When it comes to the issue of skill I feel it was a bit here and there. The games themselves came way too often down to whoever started, whether you drew a Supporter or what your opponent got on an N, and these were frustrating to say the least.

More than that, the skill lied in deck building, deck choice, and deck knowledge. The one who won tournaments was perhaps not the best player, but the one who had put the most thought about what to play before the event. I think Boundaries Crossed was pretty good, but some flaws here and there could make it annoying from time to time.

The BLW–PLS Format

For those of you who read my 2013 qualifier interview you may have noticed I was rather harsh on the Plasma Storm format. In retrospect, I was not harsh enough. What kind of decks were played? Let me list them for you guys:

  • Blastoise (A bit too easy to play compared to how good it is.)
  • Klinklang (This format’s Durant.)
  • Darkrai variants (The same deck has existed for like four formats making it boring.)
  • Big Basics (A deck based around donking.)
  • Eelektrik variants (Which get donked like 4/10 games.)

These decks are either boring, luck based, or way too easy to play. I might be stepping on a couple of toes when I voice this kind of opinion, but I believe that most of my games during this format were based around who drew the best cards or won the most coin flips.

Most people are going to blame Hypnotoxic Laser/Virbank City Gym for this, but I blame the combination of all the stupid overpowered cards. Catcher, LaserBank, and EXs create this dumb mess, nothing good of which has come out of. Catcher was a necessary card when it came out and it would have been fine in this format if the EXs and Lasers were not here. In conclusion, this format was garbage.

The BLW–PLF Format

So how is the metagame of today? Kind of mediocre in my opinion. Looking at the decks alone, we have really only two new ones in the form of Plasma and Gothilock, but all of the other ones are almost exactly like they were before. I was bored with Plasma after having tested if for a month and Gothilock, while interesting, is a deck that invites stupid repetitive routines. You do the exact same thing every game round after round which is just so tedious.

I have done a lot of testing before Worlds and nothing besides the Tier 1 powerhouses work. Don’t believe me? Here is a list of all the decks I have tested:

  • Vileplume
  • Kyurem/Absol
  • Garbodor/Articuno
  • Garbodor/Kyurem/Absol
  • Garbodor/Sableye
  • Garbodor/Big Basics
  • Garbodor/Cobalion
  • Cherrim Healing
  • Zoroark/Darkrai
  • Quad Snorlax
  • Empoleon/Plasma
  • Eelektrik Toolbox
  • Garchomp/Terrakion/Landorus
  • Ho-Oh variants
  • RayEels
  • Darkrai/Terrakion
  • Darkrai/Absol/Colress Machine
  • Darkrai/Colress Machine/Plasma Badge
  • Big Basics/Deoxys/Plasma Badge
  • Zoroark BLW/Big Basics
  • Darkrai/Hammers
  • Accelgor/Snorlax
  • FluffyChomp
  • Empire
  • Other Plasma Badge variants

Skill-wise I feel this format about the same as BLW–DRX. Way too many games come down to donks or whoever starts, and Blastoise is just as luck-based as before. Gothilock is perhaps the deck everyone deems as the hardest to play, but after a lot of testing it’s actually quite easy since you basically have a checklist of things to do and it’s just about whether you can get the double Gothita T1, which allows the T2 Gothitelle.

As you might see, this is quite a lot of testing and nothing works particularly well. Some of the decks are actually quite ok, but that is all. Because of this I have more or less concluded that there are very few rogue options for this year’s Worlds and that the boring and repetitive Tier 1 decks are the best options.

The only really skill-based matchup, in my opinion, is the Plasma mirror, since depending on what you play and what your opponent plays games can be very different and fun.

In conclusion, I feel this format is the most boring one so far. There are not enough viable rogues or cool tech cards to make the format fun. Because of this, I believe that this year’s World Champion will not necessarily be the best player, rather the winner will be the one with the best built deck for the field.

The Good Ol’ Days

Many remember old formats as the best things ever, and while that may be an overstatement they were much better than anything we have had this year. Recently, my friends and I have been playing a lot of old formats and it’s incredible how much more thinking and planning is involved. It would take a lot of time going through formats like I did earlier, so I will instead give some examples here.

Most of these examples will come from the respective year’s World Championship since that’s for the most part what my friends and I have been playing.

Could net you a big hand.

In the 2005 Worlds format, the two main draw Supporters were Copycat and Stevens. Both of these cards depend on your opponent’s field whether it be Pokémon or hand size. Poor matchups could therefore be improved by keeping a toll on their draw options.

Editor’s Note: I don’t think that last statement was true.


In the 2006 Worlds format we had a lock deck that required a lot technical ability skill to play. In order for Jason Klaczynski to win Worlds that year some luck was of course required, but without skill you would lose every game.

Prize management was so important with cards like Rocket’s Admin. and Pow! Hand Extension. Every action had many consequences that would develop through turn after turn, resulting in the need for skillful and difficult plays.


In 2007 there was a lot of variation in decks, from the tricky Legendary Ascent to the easy Swift Empoleon. It was a format with so many different solid Pokémon like different Eevee-lutions, Lunatone/Solrock combo, Absol ex, and many other fun and tricky cards. It was a lot of fun playing this format because of the variation and freshness.


2008 was kind of though because of Gardevoir/Gallade‘s dominance, but there are two major points people rarely bring up. The first one is that there were plenty of rivaling decks to GG like Empoleon, Magmortar SW/Togekiss GE, and Blissey, and the second one is that the GG mirror matchup is one of the most difficult mirrors in the history of the Pokémon TCG. I did get Top 4 at Norwegian Nationals this year with Magmortar/Togekiss, meeting around 4 Gardevoir decks Day 1 alone so it was never impossible to beat it.

Come on Ux…

Both 2009 and 2010 introduced Pokémon-SP and one of our most skillful formats ever. It’s a format almost without draw Supporters since using Cyrus’s Conspiracy for three important cards was much more important, and Uxie could stand for the draw. The formats were also extremely fair, all decks having some way to deal with their opponent so anything could win.

I have only given five major examples from the rich history of the Pokémon TCG and there are many more. I could talk about the Medicham ex deck‘s complexity or about Ross Cawthon’s genius rogue “The Truth,” but that would probably take far too long. I just want to explain how much more skillful, variated, and fun these previous metagames have been.


The main reason why I wanted to write this article is because of previous Pokémon formats. If we take a look back we can see how much fun this game was when it was more thought out. The difficulty bred variation, complexity and, by default, fun. There are more interesting decisions, intense action, pincushion tensity, and monkey barrel fun in one SP mirror match up then there is in ten Plasma mirrors.

I am sorry if I offended anyone during this article, but I am merely saying it how I believe it is. I simply hope that next year is going to be a better one for the Pokémon TCG and that TPCi/PCL realize their mistakes and fix issues like LaserBank, Catcher, and EXs. While I’m at it, maybe I could also grow wings and fly myself to the moon.

Thanks for reading!

Mathias Lunnan Bjørnstad

Reader Interactions

25 replies

  1. poet larsen

    This is an important issue for Pokemon, but I don’t think your article really showed why and what can be done to change it. The article seemed to complain more about all the problems in this format, and gave no real idea behind what pokemon could do to change it and make the game better.

    I also have the same issues with Pokemon as you- Blastoise being an autopilot deck, losing games because of laser flips (happens to me way to often), Plasma not really having in real good counters, and many other issues. You addressed these problems, but that was it. I think you might’ve wanted to put some things that Pokemon can do for the next few formats. (e.g. create a hard counter to plasma, like machamp was for SP, lower the amount of game-changing flips, make it balanced between stage 2’s and basics, etc.)

    Personally I would say that the SP format was probably the best. During that format people complained about how SP dominated, but that was not really the case. You had Gengar/Vileplume, Gyrados, Gengar/Machamp, and many other decks that all did well. What made that format balanced was that each and every deck type had support for it. For SP you had the SP engine with Cyrus, for Vileplume you had Spiritomb, and in all the other stage 2 decks, you had Broken-Time-Space and rare candy was not nerfed. This allowed each and every deck to have a chance. And even within SP there were different decks; diaglachomp, blazechomp, luxchomp and some others.

    So for the article, you could’ve gone more in depth saying why you thought format X was good and explain why it was. And then for formats that weren’t so good explain why they weren’t so good. Other than that, I am glad someone wrote an article to talk about this problem with Pokemon

    • Mathias Bjørnstad  → poet

      Well I thought about this as more of a “this is what I think, what do you think?” type of article rather than an in depth discussion. It would have been longer and more complex if that was the case. I did mention how the starter rule ruins games and that EXs, Catcher and Laser/Bank should be banned, but rather than giving my 2 cents I probably should have pledged a Dollar. Thanks for the feedback and I will try to improve =)

  2. killerpotatoe

    Although everything you said is true(finally someone agrees that goth is NOT hard to play), it is hard for me to agree since I’ve done well in all of those formats :P

    The main thing you failed to mention is N. there is SO much luck in this card, and even though it helps to balance out Blastiose. Sure, ultra ball discards can be considered skillful and help nerf the effects of N, but in the end, you could still be Ned into a 14 deck with 7 supporters and draw dead regardless. It also adds comebacks, which are nice, but for that I’d rather catcher be nerfed into POW than print N. Another thing is that even an N to 4 could leave you with a dead hand, even though the odds are seemingly stacked in your favor.

    One format that got allot of undeserved hate was last years nats/worlds format. Although Darkrai was the biggest decks out there, but that wasn’t bad because mirrors were very skillful and Darkrai was easily countered. Sure, junk arm kept the resource conservation skill level down, but it did keep a bad juniper from ruining a whole game. Smeargle “wars” were very skillful as well. My favorite part was that between junk arm/RR and Smeargle, you had to do something seriously wrong to draw dead(except stupid N). They just added so much consistency and utility that if you tech something in (say a potion), you are bound to get it – and at the right time, thanks to junk arm.

    Great read, +1.

  3. Grant Manley

    There was no reason to write this article. It said nothing helpful to anyone and was just kind of pointless. Let off steam somewhere else. Also, it was kind of harsh to call the BLW-PLS format “garbage:. I consistently performed well at every tournament in that format (3 States and a Regionals) with all different decks. Is is legit to write that off as a fluke because it was a garbage format? I agree that some games come down to Laser flips, which is an annoying way to lose, I know that the hard way. But my main point is that you didn’t accomplish anything with this article. You say the reason you wrote this is to reminiscent about previous formats and how fun they were compared to this one. What is the point of that? At least you were at least somewhat sensitive when you were writing by admitting that you may be “stepping on some toes, and apologizing for being potentially offending. (I wasn’t offended, just thought there was no point to this article)

    Also, inb4 someone replies to this comment saying: “haters gonna hate”.

    • Mathias Bjørnstad  → Grant

      I called the PLS format “garbage” because luck was MUCH more important than skill and there were very few interesting decks in play, like I said in the article. I apologize if you liked this format and that you did well in it and it was never my opinion to make that illegitimate. What I mean is that a lot of great players were utilizing skill and taking part in a lot of tournaments, but luck was WAY more potent than skill, so they didn´t get to show of their skill.

      The point of the article was to show how this year has not been the best for the Pokemon TCG. I want Nintendo, Pokemon Company and any other party involved to either get their money grubbing fingers of the franchise or make something with actual heart like in the old days. I don´t want people to get comfortable with being able to rely on laser flips or lucky Ns because its neither productive or clever enough for this once great TCG.

      I am sorry if I offended you or anyone else, but my opinion is still my opinion and I felt like it needed to be said. Most of my friends and fellow pokemon TCG players feel the same way. It was never my intention to imply that your wins were illegitimate and they probably weren´t. I just feel that the formats weren´t good and even though skill was fine, luck was 100% more important and dominated skill in every way possible.

      • poet larsen  → Mathias

        I do agree that these formats are a lot more luck-based and not as fun as other formats, but the article was not so good at addressing this issue. The article was all just your complaints, and it had no explanation of what pokemon could do to fix it.

      • Piplup_isPimp  → Mathias

        And that’s why they have a thing called rotation.

        While this article was pinpointed to express the author’s feelings about these past “formats” (even though they are all just one format), it came a bit late.

        It appears your disgust for a game with too much luck was targeted at the BLW-PLS format which was months ago.

        While I couldn’t agree with you more that it was a boring time to play pokemon, with the release of PLF things have gotten better. Not only that, but soon we will have an entirely new format (rotation or not) where those lucky laser flips will be silenced by the wind (verdant wind, that is).

        All in all , if this rant was just so that TPCi could hear your personal problems with the game’s past state, (even though some of us can relate) the past is the past and nothing can change that.

        However, as far as “Nintendo, Pokemon Company and any other party(s) involved to either get(ting) their money grubbing fingers of the franchise or make(ing) something with actual heart like in the old days”, you better have some Doe to go along with that complaint.

        Otherwise, Pokémon will just sit in their big chairs and laugh at you as they make millions off of X&Y.

  4. Jak Stewart-Armstead

    In terms of Pokemon’s history, Goth Lock is certainly not a difficult deck to play.

    However, compared to the vast majority of HGSS-on decks, it is relatively complex, which is why it seems hard to people who are used to attach/attack decks like Big Basics and Eels.

  5. Mark Hanson

    All I got from this article was “this year’s formats have been boring, I really liked past formats.”

    That’s nice. I agree the format is crap.

    So… Now what?

  6. Adam Capriola

    I think the relative “simplicity” of the game right now is a purposeful act by PCL/TPCi/Arceus to try and make the game more approachable for new/younger players. I often hear about how the Junior and Senior divisions have such poor attendance compared to the Masters division, yet those Junior and Senior players are considered the future of the game.

    Regional prize support increased for Juniors and Seniors (but not Masters) this past season, which I think shows the creators have concern for cultivating the younger player base.

    Masters in general are going to want a more complex game, but I think it’s pretty apparent that TPCi doesn’t often go out of their way to target the 15+ demographic with any of their decisions/marketing. This isn’t Magic; it’s a franchise for kids (many of whom are in their teens and twenties now yet still have a soft spot for Pokemon). It is what it is.

    In short, I think there are motives behind the simplicity of the game right now (it isn’t accidental), and unfortunately I don’t know if I see much changing in terms of gameplay for the serious competitor unless something drastic happens (like a mass boycott or exodus to a new game to hurt TPCi’s revenue stream). Supporting the game monetarily when it isn’t to your liking doesn’t give much reason for change.

    (Of course I could be totally wrong. I often hear that players make up a small percentages of sales compared to collectors, which would mean gameplay should be irrelevant, but who really knows? Still, this would mean there isn’t much incentive to thoroughly design a complex game.)

    • Piplup_isPimp  → Adam

      Nope, spot on.
      A simpler game means the more less matured people (a.k.a kids under 12) play and get a better understanding of how it works.
      A more complex game leads children to think, “this is too hard, I quit”.
      An unhappy customer(s) is never good for business.

      • Adam Capriola  → Piplup_isPimp

        I don’t think it’s a case of unhappy customers, it’s more that they are less likely to get “hooked” if they can’t develop some level of mastery of the game.

  7. rafaelkatsuya

    I do not 100% agree with all the article.

    Every season it’s the same thing : “boo the format is bad, it was better before”.

    Maybe some people here have short memory, but Gardevoir/Gallade format wasn’t great. The player that was 2nd had the edge because he could rare candy and play supporters. In fact the first to use Psychic-Lock almost always won the mirrors. The deck variety was very poor. Gardevoir was even more broken than Plasma today and only the rich players could affort the deck. The other players would play Magmortar or something else. There was Shuppet as counter, but in the end the deck was bad against anything else.

    Then the next season it wasn’t that great either. The first GE-ON was basically stupid donk decks (Machamp VS Kingdra). The player going 2nd almost always won. Then we got the SP. There was some decks doing not so bad (Gyarados for example), but in the end SP was even more broken than Plasma nowadays and we got it for 2.5 seasons. Here again, the players that didn’t played SP was because a single Luxray lv. X costed 80$ after worlds champ. There was very little counters against SP. Machamp was a theoric hard counter, the trueth is that Uxie that was already here for draw engine was also a Machamp killer. There was also Mewtwo lv. X, but here again when expected people use to tech easily against or just play around because Mewtwo was too slow to charge. SP matchs was basicaly the first to Dragon Rush that would win. The skill part was when playing cyrius you had to think about which SP trainer you would pick. In the end we would all play the same techs dragonite fb, toxicroat g and ambipoon, the decklists where almost the same. Only very few were able to have guts to fit in quad Prof Oak.

    In the end the previous years were almost the same. A deck dominating all the meta with an expensive cost for most of players. Even if there was a little more skill, I think that the difference today is that now it’s so easy to netdeck. Netdecking always existed more or less, but now it’s proportions that are unbelievable. Yesterday I was playing TCGO and I played against an guy from South America. Guess which list he was playing ? It was 100%, card by card Plasma Sablehaus’s list, the same that was posted here few days ago and only a week after the end of the us National ! I mean this guy barely was able to understand english, probably do not even needed to learn how to build a deck, and he just had to take from here and learn how to play it. In the past this kind of players would build their own random trash deck and been steamrolled, now if they play correctly against a player poll composed by other netdeckers I would say that only a coin flip can separate this players.

    I think the today format isn’t that bad. There are 4 solid decks that have all their chances. I don’t think that there is one better than the others. I just think that we are in the irreversible Netdeckers era.

  8. Vasco Prazeres

    I have to say, I wholeheartedly agree with the author’s opinion. The gigantic power creep we’ve experienced during this format, both in terms of EXes and trainers, is making this format both too fast and too narrow.

    I would go even further as to say I think the author didn’t stress enough how much Catcher aggravates this effect. While other Trainer cards (like Hypnotoxic Laser) are, indeed, also overpowered, Catcher is the only Trainer we consistently see as a four-of in most (if not all) competitive decks. I believe this to be proof of not only how unfairly strong Catcher is, but also of how much it’s stifling deckbuilding creativity: for all intents and purposes, we’re all building 56-card decks, since we know what the last four slots will have to be filled with.

    I was saddened to know that the rotation won’t leave Catcher out (due to it having been reprinted in DEX); as long as it’s around, I believe decks requiring any semblance of setup will further die out each day. More and more, we’ll be forced to play EXes just to be able to survive the first turns.

    • Jak Stewart-Armstead  → Vasco

      Strange how many decks with a ‘semblance of set up’ have been highly successful with Catcher in the format. Eels, Gothitelle, Blastoise, Hydreigon . . .

      Catcher is needed because without it, the game would just come down to who could get their overpowered Bench sitter out first. That would be far worse than anything we have now.

      Staples have always been a part of the TCG: from Oak to Transceiver to Junk Arm to Catcher and beyond.

      • Vasco Prazeres  → Jak

        You seem to have misunderstood me. I stated that setup decks would “further die out each day” not that they were already dead. Ironically, however, Hydreigon, one of the examples you used, has already died out. Plus, even though it’s unrelated, Gothitelle and Eels will rotate out on the 28th, leaving us with only one of the setup decks you presented as a viable competitive option. What I mean with this is that this gradual disappearance of setup decks (in particular Stage 2 decks) is only going to get worse if we have Catcher in this format, where EXes are becoming faster and more powerful each set.

        Notice also, that I didn’t say Catcher EFFECTS weren’t necessary, merely that Catcher itself was too powerful for this meta. While I do believe that Catcher should disappear, I also think it wouldn’t be bad idea to replace it with other, more sensible options to allow players to pressure the bench: sniping attacks and abilities such as Genesect EX’s are a good place to start, in my opinion.

        Finally, I feel compelled to also disagree with your last argument. The fact that staples have always existed in the Pokémon TCG is no reason for them to keep existing, in my opinion. Past staples stifled past deckbuilding creativity, the same way as present staples do in the present. Just because something was wrong in the past, doesn’t make it right in the present.

        • Jak Stewart-Armstead  → Vasco

          I don’t believe I did misunderstand. I don’t believe there is any evidence that Catcher has stopped set up decks from being viable. They have been throughout the time Catcher has been around. Yeah, some old ones are rotating out, but Hydreigon made top 4 in a Battle Carnival so it can still survive.

          Staples do not always stifle creativity. Claydol, for example, increased it by making many decks possible that would have been too inconsistent otherwise. Catcher doesn’t doesn’t determine the nature of a deck . . . you can play it in anything, so why does it stop you being creative with the other 56 cards?

          Fact is that some cards will always be better than others. Juniper is better than Cheren, so it becomes the staple draw. Running Cheren instead wouldn’t be more ‘creative’, it would just be bad. The only way to avoid this would be to go further down the theemed support route, because as long as Trainers are generic, there will be staples.

        • Vasco Prazeres  → Jak

          I don’t believe versatility has anything to do with Catcher stifling creativity. Neither do I believe Catcher, by itself, is hurting Stage 2 decks. What I said before is that Catcher, paired with fast, hard-hitting EXes, limits the meta to mostly using those same EX decks. Juniper might also be a staple, and I suppose such things are unavoidable to some extent, but at least it doesn’t take away from the viability of other decks the way Catcher does in this meta.

          Hydreigon might’ve made top 4 in BR, but it’s by no means a Tier 1 deck anymore, and hasn’t been for a while now. One can use those borderline examples and eschew the big picture; however, the fact of the matter is, after the rotation, we’ll be pretty much left with Blastoise as our only Tier 1 deck that runs Stage 2 Pokémon (unless a different deck pops up, or an old archetype is made viable again by new cards).

        • Joseph Lee  → Vasco

          Pokémon Catcher isn’t the problem; it is an Item, and all it does is allow you to select a new Active Pokémon for your opponent. I am not denying that is useful, but in and of itself it isn’t that powerful.

          The many Pokémon that set-up quickly for a good offense (many first turn) on the other hand are a problem, even without Pokémon Catcher… ergo it makes more sense to put the blame where it is due.

          Similarly “set-up” decks suffer because of design choice – the cards’ designers just don’t seem to want to invest in designing useful set-up cards for the lower Stages of Evolutions.

        • Vasco Prazeres  → Joseph

          I agree with you. The main reason why I’m specifically bashing on Catcher so much is because I think that rotating it out would be the best way to counter the power creep in this meta (as opposed to rotating out all the overpowered EXes instead).

        • Joseph Lee  → Vasco

          So the difference is that we disagree on the effect.

          Based on what I have read (I only wish I could have tested this, but really you do need the top players for the best results and I am not amongst them XD), I don’t believe that removing Pokémon Catcher results in a dramatic difference.

          Most complex set-up decks would still suffer from “raw power” assaults, especially factoring in Escape Rope… which suddenly becomes a great deal. A few decks might not be able to cope with the change, but most would and the few that didn’t would be replaced by:

          a) A few that have pseudo-Catchers (Genesect EX, Ninetales + Big Basics, etc.)

          b) A few that can safely hide on the Bench… but that I fear will be overpowered because of it.

          In the end, we must be careful; while the above might be a little better… it isn’t truly a step in the right direction. We’ve seen that before as well, when changes treat the symptoms and not the disease; people think the “bad stuff” is safe or good and remain ignorant consumers, demanding change but not understanding what is needed.

        • Vasco Prazeres  → Joseph

          I hadn’t thought of it that way; I guess rotating out Catcher alone could theoretically end up doing more harm than good… In that case, I guess the best solution would be to gradually revert the power creep by printing out less powerful cards and letting the more powerful ones rotate out. Still, that’d take a while, unfortunately.

        • Joseph Lee  → Vasco

          Yes, it will take a while, but that in and of itself may be a blessing – the fix will take hold better if the majority are sick of the status quo and not just people like you and me. ;-)

          Oh, and even the power creep isn’t a problem completely; the TCG seems very underpowered compared to the video games… HOWEVER the creep we’ve had has been in the wrong places – HP scores really need to go up across the board – though a few Pokémon do have (even at Level 25+) scores that are quite small, squishing a range of 1 HP to 700+ into a 10-200 HP range (with a restriction of increments of 10 as well!) just doesn’t let us have the diversity we ought to. The less range of damage you can do, the less variety you can have.

          Just another “what if” to for you to consider: what if HP scores were at least double what they are now across the board with damage remaining the same? What if Evolving Pokémon, due to the disconnect in TCG/VG mechanics, were “front loaded” with their HP scores so that a 150 HP Stage 2 had a Basic with 100 HP and a Stage 1 with 130?

  9. Zach Powers

    Did anyone else notice the cost of some of the new decks? You have to run so many EX’s (look at plasma decks!) to do anything at all these days! 2008-2010 you had lots of rare cards in decks but nothing extra rare and if you did it was maybe 1 or 2 copies max. It’s hard to get back in now I find due to the price..

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