Hola SixPrizes amigos! Glad to be back for another article with only a mere 10 days before the event of the season.
Since my last article, we’ve had lots of exciting news regarding next season. I want to give my point of view on that simply because I’m a player who lives outside the United States but (for the foreseeable future) will be competing there at many of the big events.
Let’s start with the removal of Best Finish Limits from Regional Championships. This decision has been the most controversial and has caused many people to claim that a Top X to make Day 2 in whatever region you live in is now simply a pay to win.
I think there’s 2 things we must consider here. First off, removing Best Finish Limits (BFL for short) encourages travel to more tournaments throughout the whole season. I personally might’ve only planned for 5 or 6 US Regionals, counting on adding that to Mexico City and a couple of Special events. However, now I’m actually considering attending at least 8 or so in the United States, to make sure I stay at the top of the pack of the LATAM region. My situation is quite unique, being a part of one region and competing in another, but I’m sure the removal will encourage more travel over all.
Secondly, some real talk here: TPCI most likely doesn’t care whose name is on the Top 16 of the NA region. Be it winning 4 Regionals in a single season, or accumulating 15 Top 64/32 finishes, TPCI cares about successful events, streams and the game’s continued growth which leads to more sales.
The other big change is the reduction of the CP threshold in NA (and other regions too) down to 400. Many people are putting forth that this makes Worlds a less prestigious event, especially now that you can qualify purely through local events by winning 8 League Cups. I do have a problem with this way of thinking for two reasons. One, I don’t agree with the fact that the event is less prestigious as a whole, simply because Day 1 Worlds is essentially a Last Chance Qualifier and the prestige of making it through to Day 2 or qualifying directly is still there. Two, there are many people who have yet to play at Worlds and the CP reduction might encourage them to not only try harder but attend more events, which in turn helps the game grow.
Disagreeing with the new CP bar when you’re a player who could qualify to Worlds given a 400 CP requirement or an 800 CP requirement makes no sense to me. I remember the excitement of qualifying and playing at my first Worlds in 2004 and I cannot help but feel happy that next year, many more people will probably get to feel this the same way I did back then.
Finally, the lack of a BFL for the International Championships adds to that snowball effect which is the biggest complaint so far, This is what I can agree with the most, as it directly affects me and the Mexican player base. It’s one thing to have 13 Regionals in one single country and and not cap the amount that count towards a players ranking. Another completely different is traveling abroad to faraway places such as England, Australia and Brazil in order to be able to compete for said spot. I think a BFL of 1 or maximum 2 would be much more adequate for these kind of events. There’s only a handful of people who can travel to all 4 Internationals, and thus the BFL would not discourage a huge number of people from traveling to the ones they already had planned to go to.
Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let’s move on to the real reason we’re all here. The World Championships are upon us. I’m definitely starting to feel the pressure amp up in this format where I’m not any closer to deciphering what the play is.
Burning Shadows and Guardians Risings have had a huge impact on the perceived viability of decks and there seem to be at least 10-12 completely viable options for this event (and the Anaheim Open of course).
Initially I explored 3 decks I was most interested in, Gardevoir, Golisopod/Decidueye and Volcanion variants. I found Gardevoir-GX and Golisopod-GX to be vastly different in the way they work but also very much to my liking. Volcanion is a deck I’ve never really favored and I can’t exactly pinpoint as to why but it’s simply not appealing to me.
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