The Top 10 Well-Designed Cards of the Pokemon TCG

Discussion in 'UG Article Talk' started by eriknance, Jun 11, 2013.

  1. eriknance

    eriknance Member

  2. baby_mario

    baby_mario Doesn't even care

    Another fantastic article.

    The only thing I am going to take issue with is Rocket's Admin/N.

    Although they are virtually the same card, I feel that Admin was much better designed in relation to its environment. When Admin was legal, so were other good Supporters like Scott, Steven's Advice, and the Holon stuff. A lot of decks only ran a couple of copies. Having Admin played against you could hurt a lot, but there was Pidgeot which could fetch you a Supporter and get you out of a hole.

    Now our draw options are much more limited. N isn't just a card for carefully-timed disruption, it's part of your standard draw line up and almost all decks play 4. The result is that you get games where N is played pretty much throughout, and drawing off it comes down to luck. This is made worse by the fact that we have no (playable) Pokemon-based draw/search (Pidgeot/Claydol/Uxie . . . even Magnezone Prime). Catcher + the speed of the format makes even the lucklustre cards we have (Musharna . . . Electrode?) near useless. Recovering from a N is simply a matter of topdecking well, rather than developing your Bench in anticipation.

    I'm probably not explaining this too well, but basically I think good design doesn't exist in isolation. A card good for one format (Admin), might not be quite so welcome in another (N).
  3. mattynate

    mattynate That's not rasslin'!!

    Thanks for that article, brought back some great tcg memories :)
  4. airhawk06

    airhawk06 Active Member

    I think you did OK with a difficult topic. Let me be clear this is by no way intended to be mean spirited.

    1) This is a very sub-optimal time for this type of article. The biggest event for 90% percent of the player base (and subscription base) is effectively three weeks away. Testing at this point in time is packed and opinions on lists change weekly, if not daily. That means that even though top tier lists have been covered in the last couple weeks, it is prudent to keep addressing them now. Also, the main reason why people purchase UG subscriptions is to improve on the tournament scene. Some of these general articles can certainly help, but not as much as detailed meta discussion. I know you asked about what type of article people wanted to see, but you also have to remember that you will only get responses from a fraction of the total subscribers.

    2) I also disagree with some of the criteria/how the criteria is laid out:

    -I would argue that some cards that get overshadowed are actually better designed than the stupid over-powered Big Basics of the top decks. Also, cards like HTL are widely considered not well designed, but they drastically affect the format.

    - The same can be said about the versatility. Just because a card is in a multitude of decks, does not mean that it is well designed. It can easily indicate that card might be stupidly broken, or that there is a deficiency in alternatives that indicate the card type in general is lacking. An example would be Juniper. Juniper is clearly good in speed decks, but it would not show up in as many decks as it does if there were better alternatives for non-rush decks.
  5. JayHornung

    JayHornung Active Member

    I would consider skill based cards as cards that require skill from both sides of the table. Scramble would be a perfect example of how players could play to set up scramble plays and opponents could play around scramble.
    airhawk06 likes this.
  6. Parenting101

    Parenting101 Active Member

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this article! BUT, I do have to agree with what airhawk06 had to say. I'm not sure that the timing of this great article was great, with most players trying to perfect their lists for Nationals. Although, some players have been testing so much, they may enjoy the break. As well as, a blast from the past may spark a new thought for their testing.

    Unfortunately, I am not able to attend Nationals. And I am reasonably new to the Pokemon TCG. So I didn't mind spending my time enjoying the read. :)

    Good luck at Nationals everyone!
  7. Kettler

    Kettler Active Member

    If Pidgeot is protein, and non-Pidgeot decks are vegetarian meals, then does that mean Magcargo Smooth Over is refried beans?
  8. JayHornung

    JayHornung Active Member

    I think Electrode EX would have been a another great example :)
  9. calbears

    calbears New Member

    Yeah I have to agree with some other people. While this was a fun read this is was not underground acceptable right now with nationals looming at are feet.
  10. speedy385

    speedy385 New Member

    While I agree that articles on Six Prizes should be topical and serve the Pokémon TCG community, there is an undeniable art to writing a high-quality article, and art requires inspiration and motivation. An artist's motivation can be from internal thoughts and questions as well as external happenings. In this case, it's clear to me that Erik was influenced by the former and has been contemplating this topic for some time. I'm guessing that he wanted to share his thoughts after having reached a few conclusions. As a player who started with Emerging Powers, I was very interested in the discussion of cards from previous formats. People complain about the current format, about over-powered Basics, donks, and "broken" items such as Pokémon Catcher and Hypnotoxic Laser, but it's all I've known. So it's definitely enjoyable for me to try and see things from another point of view. As such, I think the criticism of this article just on the basis that it's not "timely" or doesn't serve the immediate needs of the Underground community is undeserved. I thought this was a very good article on what is probably a very controversial topic.

    I would like to suggest some great cards from the Black and White era that weren't mentioned. 1. Tornadus EPO - one of the better designed cards from the whole era and was balanced by it's lightning weakness (Zekrom) as well as it's fighting resistance (Donphan Prime, Terrakion NVI). 2. Sableye DEX - Junk Hunt is an amazing attack in the current era, and I do think it's balanced because Darkrai EX's attack damage is somewhat limited compared to other attackers of the era. 3. Heavy Ball - who knew that a high retreat cost could be a desirable thing? 4. Tool Scrapper - we're just beginning to see the utility of this card. 5. Tropical Beach - although it's not very accessible, it has a great design, especially when paired with Skyla. 6. Float Stone - I think this + Keldeo EX will be the defining cards of the BW-PLF format.

    Other cards are not balanced and don't make my list such as Eelektrik NVI, Skyarrow Bridge, Terrakion NVI, Dark Patch, and Eviolite. Anyone else have cards that they would have liked to see make the lists?
    Parenting101 likes this.
  11. baby_mario

    baby_mario Doesn't even care

    ^ Agree with the above.

    Even at this time of year, we can find it in our hearts to appreciate such a well written and thoughtful article . . . can't we?

    My nomination for good design would be Call Energy. A fantastic card which

    a) could rescue bad starts
    b) reduced donks
    c) did something to mitigate the disadvantages of going first in that format

    The balance came from it being an unsearchable Special Energy which only provided one Colourless.
  12. TechnoLegend

    TechnoLegend Active Member

    Thank you for something different!

    I started playing during Dark Explorers, and really liked seeing interesting cards from other formats, especially Power Spray. i had no idea that PTCG had a play on your opponents turn card. you said that it was interesting to play, knowing when to play yours and trying to bait out your opponents, in Magic The Gathering pretty much every support card can be played on your opponents turn, not only that but you can play it in response to them trying to do something, for example they try to attack with creature(pokemon) X and "in response", you can destroy/return to hand/prevent it from attacking, like it never even happened.
    although this is very thought intensive, in most respects i think that not having any control over what your opponent does on their turn is actually much harder to deal with, and even harder to work around (I understand that you can do things on your turn, like destroy an energy to prevent them from attacking on their turn, im talking about actually having "hands on" during their turn).

    i wish i had played PTCG in earlier formats and really got to watch the game grow/change, past formats looked soooo much harder then our current modified card pool.
  13. acktacky

    acktacky That Girl

    Whatever. I loved this article! I started playing at EPO, so reading about old metas is super interesting to me. Awesome job! :)