The Road that Twists and Turns

The Debut Friday Flyer, with Farewells and Thoughts

Welcome to the first edition of the Friday Flyer! In addition to me still not really being sure whether it should be Flyer or Flier, it’s a bit of an odd time to talk Pokémon. Fortunately, Pablo kicked us off earlier this week with our first looks at the Sun and Moon-on rotation. At this point, play is mere hours from beginning in the first tier-2 tournament of the year using the format, as the Melbourne Open will kick off.

If, at this point you’re going “what on earth am I reading?”, it’s a good time to head back to my article from earlier this week and read the first portion at the least. At a minimum: this is a new weekly column where I hope to tackle some issues that are important, but just not quite fit for full UG. Usually, these will have “paywalls,” but today’s is free to view for all. They’ll usually be published earlier than this, but today’s required some extra time.

Unfortunately, this week’s Flyer topic isn’t quite the bubbling and enthusiastic good news I hope to provide in this space. Rather, in addition to the site updates we offered Monday, we have one more to offer today. Alex Hill and I took over day-to-day operations of SixPrizes in April of 2017, and today, we’re announcing that Alex has chosen to step back from his roles with the site.

Alex: SixPrizes has been a large part of my life and my Pokémon career, and it’s been an honor to work with such great people. I’m humbled by what we’ve all accomplished together and feel a great sense of pride looking back on the last handful of years. Thank you all for your kind words at Regionals and other events over the last few seasons and I hope you continue to support SixPrizes as I will in the future.

My involvement in Pokémon will likely be scaled slightly back in the coming seasons, but I look forward to seeing you all at events in the coming years. If you want to hear my thoughts on Pokémon and more moving forward, you can always find me on Twitter. It’s been a pleasure.

It’s going to be a different element moving forward without Alex from my perspective, but I hope we’re, as a collective staff, able to continue driving forward in the spirit which Alex and I have always aimed. In the immediate term, the article slots Alex would’ve normally been slotted for will be going to another Alex: my brother, Alex Schemanske, will be making his debut later this month.

This cuts into a lot of the bulk of what I want to say in this sort of column, so I’ll probably leave next week’s open to view as well to get a better sense of what this is going to become, but one thing I know I want to include is a “tip of the week” of sorts. Through playing since 2010, I’ve picked up a few ideas along the way about how players can best-optimize their play/lists/whatever, and I’m going to take this space to share those. Odds are I’m going to run out of them at some point sooner than later but for now, we’ll give it a shot.

So, this week’s tip: circle the numbered game results on your match slips as they happen! I promise, they aren’t their for decoration—and definitely not for data tracking—but for your own benefit. The little 1s, 2s, and 3s on the slips are meant to mark between-games to keep a paper trail of the match’s progress. While situations where an opponent outright lies about the state of a match are pretty rare, a judge walking by will be able to gain more context into a match with this simple piece of information provided. Providing more information to judges, enabling them to better contextualize what they are seeing as they walk a row of tables, is always a good thing for honest players.

Next week, I’ll be kicking off our coverage with some thoughts on decks for Oaks. My initial goal was going to be to stick with Expanded for the next few months, but it doesn’t make much sense in this time-cramped portion of the year. Jimmy will have some additional thoughts on the new Standard format, and my brother, Alex, will make his debut with a recap of what happens at the Melbourne Open. The Flyer will probably look at some uncomfortable topic that comes to me between now and then. Probably.

If you have any tournaments in the new format this weekend, the absolute best of luck with those!

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