Hola again 6P! Happy New Year! 2017 was a great year for 6P and myself too, and I’m hoping 2018 will be even better! There are 9-10 Regionals and 3 Internationals to go through in the next 6-7 months (and typing it now makes me realize just how crazy packed a normal Pokémon season is now!), where our first challenge is Dallas and the Expanded format!
Before I begin talking about decks, I wanted to bring up a recent discussion that took place on Twitter regarding Tropical Beach, ACE SPECs and overall card accessibility.
On January 5th, I tweeted the following:
If Pokémon wants Expanded to keep growing, they need to reprint Ace Specs and Tropical Beach.
— [SoS] Tablemon (@tablemon) January 5, 2018
This came up after I noticed many of the people that I coach are struggling to complete their Expanded decks for Dallas. As they’ve come into the game between the last 3 years or earlier, they don’t own all the necessary cards for Expanded.
ACE SPECs were first introduced to the game in the BW: Boundaries Crossed set that came out in November 2012 — that’s a little over 5 years ago! The $50 price tag on Computer Search is completely understandable when you consider the size of the player base back then. There are, simply put, not that many Computer Search in circulation, and the huge consistency boost it brings to decks in Expanded dictates the hefty price tag. The same applies to Dowsing Machine, and to a lesser extent, Rock Guard, Scoop Up Cyclone, Scramble Switch and Gold Potion.
We have already received some products with Alternate numbering A tag to prevent their legality in Standard, but this has been limited to the XY-era so far. I feel like a “Best of BW” would be a great product to for the game’s exploding popularity at the moment. We have, at the time I’m writing this, over 800 Masters registered for Dallas (900+ by time of publish!). I truly wonder how many more would attend, likely to the point of selling out, if Expanded’s sought-after older cards were more readily available.
This lets us move on to Tropical Beach. A trophy card for many people, it’s actually starting to see more and more play in different successful decks in Expanded. The problem with this card is even more serious than the ACE SPECs. Tropical Beach was a promo given only to Worlds Competitors and Staff in 2011 and 2012. This, in my eyes, has created a huge availability and exclusivity problem with the card. Part of the Twitter discussion included people arguing that a reprint would devalue the cards given to competitors from those years. While true, it becomes a decision of whether you want to cater for a value of a card that’s 5-6 years old, versus catering to the current and rapidly growing player base?
I’d argue that Pokémon should be caring about the latter, as the older cards would still hold their prestige in my opinion. Another simpler option is to just print the effect of said card with a different name. This is the simplest solution, and while it may introduce the effect to Standard once again, who’s to say it wouldn’t be a welcome addition and would open up new and creative strategies to be created/become viable? Perhaps the limited availability of the card is actually deterring players from exploiting the effect?
Anyways, those are just some thoughts I had since Expanded testing began happening in full swing. Which now leads us to the meat of the article:
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