Hello once again everyone! Though I was initially somewhat reluctant in my choice to miss the Fort Wayne Regional Championship, I am currently compelled to believe that Expanded is perhaps shockingly the better format compared to Standard. I will talk much more about Standard below, but in general it just seems like the sheer amount of consistency and options available in Expanded outweigh the novelty of Standard.
I am not too happy to immediately be wishing we had VS Seeker back, but the current Standard format just does not have any options available to it. I am hoping that something new (and not a reprint) comes this way within the next set or two to make things more enjoyable but for now, I have 4 Professor Sycamore, 4 N and 4 Guzma (and often 4 Tapu Lele-GX for a further boost in consistency) in over 75% of my decks. I know that most of this skeleton has really been the core of things for years—what’s with the complaining now? Well, even though VS Seeker is questionably overpowered as a card, it did give players the versatility and freedom to choose from a wide array of options. With gift of freedom comes the burden and difficulty of choice, which not only rewards the better and more thoughtful player, but gives players the possibility to outplay the competition just by filling out a decklist.
I remember a similar occurrence at the very beginning of 2012 where there were basically no good supporters outside of Professor Juniper. The norm tended to trend around Bianca and Random Receiver, but, man, was that unenjoyable. Many games were won and lost at the luck of Random Receiver (and to think once upon a time we had to play Pokégear 3. shortly before) and similarly, a lot of games in Standard tend to be a matter of getting lucky with your timing. We play four copies of Guzma not because we need all four of them, but because we need to have the 1-2 uses of the card exactly when we need it. Thus, if you have to discard too many too early, then you’re likely to miss this window.
If you shift our gaze to other card games, there has always been a huge disparity between draw card and the supporter-esq spell cards and so on. In Pokémon, drawing as much as possible as fast as possible tends to be the name of the game. Cards like Sophocles are simply not good enough in the realm of Pokémon, but such a card would likely be way too good in any other game! It would be nice to see Pokémon slow down to be more comparable to other card games, because when the only thing your support and utility cards dictates is speed, then the game is just about drawing well and not whiffing your outs at the right times.
With a slower game, the focus is much more around managing what little you have as best as possible, which necessitates a slower, methodical and much more Chess-like game. Does this make sense? Am I trying to hard to make Pokémon into something that it will never be or is my appeal to a slower game appealing to anyone else?
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