And With That

Thoughts on the Now Completed POG 2020 and Five Decklists to Kickstart TEU–DAA

Hello again readers, I’m back with you for the second time this month with quite a few lists for the upcoming format. We’ve finally entered the point where post-rotation decks are the only thing that matter, and after messing around with a lot of stuff over the last few days, I’m really excited to see what new archetypes pop up.

The POG was well done, but I think we’re all still pining for an actual Worlds.

Before I get into the lists today, I want to go over the POG Championship. I participated in what was my first unofficially-run large-scale PTCGO event last weekend. Well, sort of. I had a Day 2 invite, so I didn’t actually have to play in the much larger Day 1 pods, so I can’t give a completely accurate opinion on those. I did observe the Discord most of the day, keeping track of friends and stalking some players’ decklists.

Here’s my uninvolved take on how Day 1 went. Pod 1 was run exceptionally well and concluded in a timely manner. I wasn’t awake for most of it, but that’s the vibe I got. Pod 2, however, was a different story. The start time was delayed and round turnaround was much worse. I don’t know all of the reasons for this, but I would assume fatigue played at least a small role.

One thing I liked about the Day 1 format was that if a match was unreported within two minutes of time being called, it was a double game loss. This is also how Japan plays the game. However, from what I could tell, there were multiple times throughout the event that matches were awarded wins/losses after said time limit was up. Basically, I think the organizers were too nice. They tried to track down unreported matches. That’s not to say they didn’t do a great job running the event, because they certainly did. But if you’re going to do the Japanese structure, you can’t be wasting time tracking down matches. That slows down the event incredibly much. Awarding the double game loss and moving on with the event would be optimal in this situation.
The bot had some hiccups.

On to Day 2. I say Day 2, but I’m going to start directly after Day 1 concluded. Everything in the event was run through a Discord bot. Cool. Unfortunately the bot broke. Inevitable. The bot was also how we were supposed to turn in decklists. That command wasn’t working until roughly three hours before the event began. I got lucky here, because I live in what is arguably the best time zone to play in for this event. I only had to wake up at 6am. Players on the West Coast of the USA? 3–4am. Globally? You get the idea. Obviously the time zone issue itself is unavoidable when you run a global event. Scrambling to turn in a decklist wasn’t the greatest way to start out the day.

Day 2 itself was run pretty smoothly, at least while I was still in it. There were some more issues with decklists, but those were ironed out rather quickly. I played some Pokémon and dropped at 2-2. I actually wanted to drop at 1-1, but it was still early enough in the day that I decided to play some more. Obviously I wouldn’t normally drop at that record, but what was the point of staying in? I could play five more rounds for a chance of $25?

This might offend some people, but oh well. As much as we wanted POG to be Worlds 2020, it just wasn’t. Sure, we played an event with a majority of the top players. How many of those top players actually put significant work into the format? Probably not even close to as many (or doing nearly as much work) as would have for Worlds. I literally did no testing aside from some ladder games. Nothing was on the line. I didn’t play an entire season leading up to this event. I didn’t have the Worlds experience. There is no 2020 World Champion, but there’s at least a 2020 POG Champion.

To wrap up this little section on POG, I’m grateful the organizers ran the event. They did an amazing job. They’re not professionals (I think), and they weren’t paid. It obviously motivated some people in the community and many players found enjoyment in it. I simply hope such an event is never necessary again. Well, now that y’all made it through that section, onto the decklists.

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