Autopilot Off: The Dangers of Passive Play (+ The “Missing Format” Explained!)

Discussion in 'UG Article Talk' started by eriknance, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. eriknance

    eriknance Member

  2. Possibly the best article I've seen in a while.
  3. FlareStarfire

    FlareStarfire Front Page Contributor

    One of the last few things I'm not so hot at; determining prizes by the time the information is valuable. I tend not to play with a lot of onesies in my deck so it's easier to notice when those are missing, admittedly.
  4. yelsha42

    yelsha42 Member

    Great article! Definately something I'll be using this coming season. I've made some of those errors before and it's so painful to know that something you were in control of cost you the game. First round at Worlds last year, I Junipered my deck away expecting to draw an energy for the win, when it turned out that it was my very last prize - I should have known what was there. Had I not played the Juniper I would have won.

    Prize checking is actually something that can be practised specifically (as I did extensively after that Worlds mishap). Simply get your deck and set up as you would for a normal game (7 in hand, 6 prizes), then run through your deck and do your counts. Write down what you suspect your prizes are, then flip over your prizes to check. Rinse and repeat. I wouldn't go into a tournament with a deck unless I can get all 6 right at least 95% of the time. Variations of this test can be to time yourself (ensuring you can check your cards in a timely manner), or to play three or four turns into the game before you do your check (to get used to those situations when you have to check your field, discard pile, hand AND deck as opposed to just one or two locations).
  5. 765Bro

    765Bro Hibiki...~

    Uh-oh. About the Missing Format... You really ought to provide a list of what qualifies as Legendary Pokemon. There's always been a bit of a controversy over what makes a Pokemon legendary since the games and anime can't seem to agree- even amongst themselves.

    For example, is Heatran a Legendary? The anime showed there to be an entire nest of them in Mount Stark, but Diamond/Pearl treated a single one as the god of volcanoes. Even if you were to disregard the anime, what about Manaphy and Phione? What about Meloetta?
  6. Hunter2hitman

    Hunter2hitman Member of Team Storm

    Fantastic read and very insightful. Thank you Erik
    Quite possibly the article of the year, and the timing is impeccable.
  7. Crawdaunt

    Crawdaunt Active Member

    Great article Erik! You always pick the best topics. As a piece of honest feedback, I feel you could have used less obvious examples than situations like "3 juniper and 1 N," but I digress.

    As an interesting autopilot commentary, I've seen a couple really good Blastoise examples recently. One would be attaching energy because you can (say they've got a BK EX with a loaded ballista). My example, the player then attached spare waters to a blank Keldeo... For some reason. Like, no threat to BK EX, so attaching to BK would facilitate another ballista. But there seems to be a mentality that BK EX needs no more than 4 energies at any one time. For anyone doing this, consider your board position and attach where the energy will be most useful on the following turn! (Or hold onto it if your opponent has options and you can't force their hand).

    And another fun Blastoise example would be recognizing how the next two turns play out and choosing Keldeo as your target rather than BK EX. The scenario being when a player has BK EX active and the ability to attach 6 W energies on their turn. This scenario states that the opponent will be unable to respond KO an EX on their next turn (or is extremely unlikely to).

    The effective solution is to charge Keldeo and rush in to use secret sword two turns in a row. But time and time again players commit to the black kyurem ex that is up front.

    Any other fun examples anyone can think of?
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2013
  8. baby_mario

    baby_mario Doesn't even care

    Thanks for another fantastic article.
  9. mattynate

    mattynate That's not rasslin'!!

    Very well written!
  10. eriknance

    eriknance Member

    765Bro, all the Pokemon you mention "feel" like legendary ones to me because of their placement in the Pokedex I suppose. Like how Meloetta comes after this generation's legendary trio. I didn't realize there we differing opinions on this though. Oh, also... you can't breed those Pokemon either, right?

    <------ only good/knowledgable at the TCG, sorry.[DOUBLEPOST=1374704598][/DOUBLEPOST]
    At the SC State Championship this year, I played against someone using Zekrom EX/Eels. I remember piling a lot of damage on one of my oppponent's Zekrom EX's after he played his 2nd Max Potion. Normally, that would be a mistake because of the threat of Max Potion, but I knew the player, and so I knew that he normally packs ALOT of stuff in his decks and leaves very little room for things like Max Potion and Pokemon Catcher (he only ran 2 of those). My gamble paid off, as I was able to KO it with bench damage from Night Spear. I didn't win the game, but it was definitely a play that got me one step closer to victory.

    In general, though, that's one thing I've seen a lot of players ignore altogether. They feel safe leaving a Pokemon with lots of accumulated damage on the field, as though they have the time and luxury of deciding when it gets knocked out. Next thing you know, a Max Potion hits the field and changes everything. (Hasn't Max Potion been an instrumental card in the success of many decks since its release? Makes you wonder...)
    Crawdaunt likes this.
  11. 765Bro

    765Bro Hibiki...~

    eriknance
    That's okay, I understand a lot of PTCG players haven't played or don't know so much about the video games or anime. There's usually a lot of misunderstandings and disputes when it comes to this though, so I feel like you should definitely create an exact list of what Pokemon are inherently banned. Some would say a Legendary is one that can't breed, one that's only obtainable a single time in the games, those that are found at the end of each regional Pokedex or have their own battle theme.

    You can actually breed Manaphy, but the off-spring will always be Phione. Phione can breed as well, but only produce more Phione. The anime also seems to imply that the player character of the video games only ever discovers a single of each Legendary pokemon canonically, but that there are more you never do encounter. And Victini is actually #000 in the Unova Pokedex.

    If you don't want to fuss around with all these different factors and exceptions, a fair ruling might just be to use Bulbapedia's definition and list of "Legendary Pokemon".
    eriknance likes this.
  12. eharrold

    eharrold New Member

    This type of article with quality information is exactly why I became a member. The information was very relevant to game-play and provided useful tips that when employed will make the reader a better overall player. Your insight is very well received and I appreciate you taking your time to write such a good article.
  13. Parenting101

    Parenting101 Active Member

    Fantastic article Eric! Not figuring out my prize cards has cost me a lot of games. I have tried figuring them out when going through my deck the first time, but had no rhyme or reason to it and couldn't figure all of them out. With your recommendation of counting "energies", "Pokemon", "trainers", I think I might actually be able to do that! :)

    Perfect timing as well. I will be attempting the LCQ for the first time in a couple of weeks.

    Thanks again.
  14. gooddog202

    gooddog202 New Member

    Hi first article I read on UG best one in my opinion
    eriknance likes this.
  15. Bleak

    Bleak Glorious beacon of light

    I enjoyed reading about the tournament, Erik - it was a lot of fun! (Tell Paige thanks again for me!)

    With us still having a little bit of downtime before battle roads, trying the 'Missing Format' is something I definitely recommend anyone try that's looking to have some fun and forego the 'serious' nature of testing.
    eriknance likes this.
  16. eriknance

    eriknance Member

    Just thought I'd mention this because it's been on my lately as I've been testing...

    I find a grave complication between my "old school" player habits and the game as it stands now, particularly with regard to there being a "surprise" element in the game. Here's the example I came across...

    I'm playing a Landorus EX/Bouffalant deck and my opponent is playing Blastoise. I run 4 DCE in my deck, which works very well with Bouffalant. The problem, though, is that I tend to hold the DCEs in my hand a lot, with the anticipation that I'll surprise my opponent and throw him/her offguard. In the back of my mind, I'm also vaguely afraid of an Enhanced Hammer dropping the field and now I'm set back a couple of turns. Couple of things though...

    1. I'm setting myself up to lose a DCE attachment by my opponent playing an N. I now just denied myself a chance to play a card that would greatly be to my benefit.

    2. Blastoise decks do not run Enhanced Hammer. I should know this from experience, so why be vaguely afraid of something that will never be a factor?

    3. I'm playing with an older style of play in mind. During the "ex series" days, I often used decks that would greatly disrupt my opponent in various ways. It's why I fell in love with MetaNite, a deck that could easily wipe Pidgeots out of the game entirely. Add that element to a well-timed Rocket's Admin. (today's N), and you get a single turn that decides the outcome of the game. The game as it is today, however, allows for surprises in the form of OHKO's. Taking out an EX is a BIG DEAL. But for some reason, I still want to hold on to my DCE, as if playing it in conjunction with the OHKO is the ideal play. In many cases, it's not.


    ... just some thoughts about how old playstyle can effect the moves you make in today's format.