Erik Nance

Author Archive
  • Joined Jun ’11

Bio: My brother and I have played the Pokémon TCG competitively for about 7 years now. In that time, we’ve competed at the highest level and done pretty well. Here is a quick list of my personal achievements in the game:

– World Championship Level: Top 16 in 2006, Invitation in 2008, Top 32 in 2010
– National Championship Level (US): Top 32 in 2008, 2nd Place in 2010, Top 32 in 2012
– Regional Championship Level: 3rd Place in 2006 (Southeast), 1st Place in 2008 (Southeast), Top 32 in 2012 (Georgia), Top 32 in 2012 (Pennsylvania), Top 16 in 2013 (Pennsylvania), Top 16 in 2014 (Virginia)
– State Championship Level: 2nd Place in 2010 (SC), 2nd Place in 2012 (NC), multiple top cut finishes
– City Championship Level: Multiple CC wins and top cut finishes
– NC Gym Challenge winner in 2006

Aside from Pokémon, I have a wonderful wife who supports me in all the things I do, a smart and beautiful little daughter who has never failed to make a person smile, and three cats. I like to paint abstract works. Soccer is a favorite sport of mine. I plan on writing a novel someday. My wife Paige tells me I’m a great chef. Play me in Halo sometime — I’ll beat you!

Professionally, I work at an organization in downtown Winston Salem called the iCan House. We help kids to adults who have social challenges, usually in the form of autism or Asperger’s Syndrome. I’m the Program Developer there, meaning I write the curriculum, facilitate groups, and aid in the development of new programs. I left a fairly cushy job at an insurance company to do this because it makes a difference.

I value determination and balance in life, and I think convenience to be a true enemy to mankind.

Quad Goals

Form-Fitting an Old Concept to Today’s Standard Format
One of the most brutally effective strategies in the Pokémon TCG within recent memory is to stockpile loads of resources into a single Pokémon card. This strategy surfaces occasionally with a different look and feel, but the idea remains the same: arm a Pokémon card with everything you’ve got Trainer-wise and carry it as far […]


On Succeeding as a Time-Crunched Competitor and the Challenges of PokéParenting
Now you might be thinking a few things. Either you don’t want kids or you want kids but it’s something you don’t see happening anytime soon. Maybe you want to adopt. Perhaps you consider your loyal pet your child. Maybe you’re thinking to yourself, “I didn’t realize Erik was so old.” In any case you […]

Cards on the Fence

A Test for Whether Cards are Staple-Worthy or Binder Snacks
With Worlds just around the corner and the release of Steam Siege already in clear view, this is one of the most exciting times of the season for many Pokémon players. The scheduling for these two events this year is interesting since the format for Worlds this year will include Steam Siege, a fact that […]


An Examination into the Seldom Accredited Game-Ending Plays of Past and Present
I watched tentatively from behind a thick black curtain meant to separate spectators from the arena. Less than 15 feet away my brother was finishing his third round at the 2006 Pokémon World Championships. He looked weathered and stiff, a cardboard cutout set jokingly in place of the Kevin Nance that had flown with me […]

Wayback Machine

On Works Past and Updating Old Theories for New Formats
At the end of the day when it’s time for everyone to go to sleep, I often play music on my phone to help my daughter calm down and get prepared to snooze. She normally doesn’t make it through more than three songs, though I’ll still seize the chance to brag on her good taste […]

In Writing

Winter Regionals 2016: Life, Loss, and Closing the Chapter on Durant
When it comes to Pokémon TCG articles, the category currently most overlooked is the tournament report. This hasn’t always been the case. In fact, in the years of my competitive infancy with Pokémon, players would encourage me to write a report after a solid performance. This often happened on PokéGym, a forum that is largely […]

Fast Foward

Analyzing BREAKpoint Cards Against Their Classical Counterparts
BREAKpoint officially enters our card pool tomorrow, and I don’t know if it’s just me, but it definitely feels like a strange set. Many of the cards in it are rehashes of older cards, while a sizable portion of the set is filler. The EXs in the set are unusually underwhelming, while the Trainers are […]

Setting Sights

7 New Year’s Pokémon Resolutions (and an Update on Engines)
The start of the new year offers everyone an opportunity to reflect — to look forward to new experiences, say goodbye to past challenges, and strive to make this year better than the last. For many of us, we start by hitting the ground running with resolutions — little (or big) goals we set for […]

Inspector Gadget

Investigating Effective Supporter Builds in the Standard and Expanded Formats
In a surprising number of ways, I have found the Pokémon TCG to be a lot like cooking. This might seem strange to some, but think back to those moments when you felt you had perfected a deck list. I’m willing to bet it took a lot longer than just a handful of games. Like […]

Let’s Review!

A GroundBREAKing Mechanic, Game-Changers, Reprints, and Gauging Potential
One of the most intriguing things about the game right now is the manner in which the card creators seem bent on making each set refreshing and pivotal. I’ve played the Pokémon TCG for a long time, and there have definitely been some boring sets that didn’t change much about the game (I’m looking at […]

The Last Draw

A History of ‘Deck Out’ Strategies, Durant Again, and the Bunny Zone
Life is always interesting in the Nance corner. Since my last article I’ve got a new job and a new son. That’s right! This past Monday we got a new addition to the Nance family (and a new future Worlds winner), as Ezra Holden Nance was born at 11:20 AM. Somehow, I’ve found the time […]

Missed Connections

Five Great Cards That Surprisingly Never Stood a Chance
Like any card game that lasts longer than a couple of years, the Pokémon TCG often recycles ideas. Take a look at Bronzong PHF, for example, and you’ll see it’s nothing more than a metallic rehash of Eelektrik NVI. This is no surprise, of course. Effective ideas are going to find their way into the […]

What’s Your Type?

XY-on Examinations of Grass, Fire, Water, Lightning, Darkness, and Fighting
For me, my next tournament will likely be one after the rotation for next season. I know a lot of readers are in that same boat, and so in approaching this article I decided to do those players a favor and open the discussion on next season’s format. At the same time I wanted to […]

Tints and Tones

Investigating the Strengths of Various Card Types (Colorless, Dragon, Metal, Fairy, and Psychic)
At the time, I found myself playing Durant NVI, a deck pernicious in its aim to discard all of the opponent’s cards — that is, to “deck” the opponent. It neither took Prize cards nor did it deal damage, and with such a streamlined strategy it could be lethal in the hands of a seasoned […]

Me First and the Gimme Gimmicks

A Study in Gimmickry in the Pokémon TCG
Me First … At the beginning of last August I left my full-time job to pursue an art career, enrolled in college (for a third time), moved to a different city, and basically set fire to any thread of normalcy that existed in my life. Within a couple of months I found myself without heat, […]