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Camkitsune

Why do 'Legend' rules apply to Ditto, but not Solgaleo GX?

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Camkitsune

I can understand the logic behind limiting the number of Dittos in a deck to 1 - while Ditto itself is vulnerable (and I've won games because my opponent had to mulligan into a Ditto as their active Pokemon) a deck with four of them would be capable of taking off absurdly quickly, especially since Rare Candy is a thing that exists.

 

What I don't get is why similar limitations don't seem to be placed on GX cards, particularly when they can be engines to 'desired board states' in and of themselves (Zoroark GX and Metagross GX both come to mind), on top of many of them being targetable by Nest Balls and Rare Candy being a thing that exists.

 

Having to build a deck that consistently stabilizes by turn 2 is hard enough.  

 

Having to build a deck that stabilizes by turn 2, and can turn around and output 200+ damage to a card that will result in my **** getting wrecked if I do not immediately respond to it requires either GX cards or something highly specialized like Lost March/Alolan Dugtrio, on top of having to optimize it to Unova and back.

I just don't see why the logic behind Ditto doesn't carry over to cards that are, essentially, pretty close to win conditions in and of themselves.

Edited by Camkitsune

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BowserLuigi

Trust me.. You'll understand as you get better at the game. Soon you'll realize that trying to take out six 1 prize attackers can be more annoying than taking out three big guys.

 

GXes have a drawback i.e giving up 2 prizes (and 3 prizes for tag teams). Prism stars like Ditto are just basic pokemon on steroids with NO drawbacks beyond their limit to 1 and incapability of being revived after they are dead.

Edited by BowserLuigi
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harshu

Trust me.. You'll understand as you get better at the game. Soon you'll realize that trying to take out six 1 prize attackers can be more annoying than taking out three big guys.

 

GXes have a drawback i.e giving up 2 prizes (and 3 prizes for tag teams). Prism stars like Ditto are just basic pokemon on steroids with NO drawbacks beyond their limit to 1 and incapability of being revived after they are dead.

Its really annoying when your opponent doesn't play any Tapu lele gx/shaymin EX and all his deck is filled with good 1 prize attackers :( takes forever to beat them and keep the game in your hand.

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SandaledOtter

 

Its really annoying when your opponent doesn't play any Tapu lele gx/shaymin EX and all his deck is filled with good 1 prize attackers :( takes forever to beat them and keep the game in your hand.

Haha, so true.

 

There is a Solgaleo {*} card, in any case, and it's limited just like the Ditto one.

 

I do occasionally feel like having everyone running around with a full team of GXs, EXs, Ultra Beasts or such wouldn't make any sense in-universe, but this isn't an RPG.

 

Some of the best decks currently use very few if any GX cards. The deck I've been using lately has just a single LeleGX, which I've thrown away more often than used.

 

(EDIT: AAAAAARGH! All those huge spaces!)

Edited by SandaledOtter
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Otakutron

Welcome to the boards, Camkitsune. Now we can discuss some of those things I've mentioned elsewhere. :) Now to discuss Pokémon LEGEND cards.  Surprised you went with an older mechanic but... oh, we're talking about Prism Star Pokémon and Pokémon-GX?  S'cool, but now I kind of want to revisit Pokémon LEGEND. ;)
 

I can understand the logic behind limiting the number of Dittos in a deck to 1 - while Ditto itself is vulnerable (and I've won games because my opponent had to mulligan into a Ditto as their active Pokemon) a deck with four of them would be capable of taking off absurdly quickly, especially since Rare Candy is a thing that exists.

 
Ditto {*} - "{*}" is shorthand for "Prism Star" - can't combo with Rare Candy.  No, it isn't really clear based on card text, but that is the ruling.  Ditto {*} is amazingly strong, to the point that four copies per deck, or even just this one copy not sending itself to the Lost Zone when it would hit the discard pile, would be ridiculous.  Any Stage 1 Pokémon can be slipped into a deck as a single, allowing them to combat niche situations that normally hurt the main deck's chances at a tournament.  Not running into those situations?  Just use it to improve the odds of getting whatever core Stage 1 Pokémon is relevant to your deck in play, like Magcargo (CES) or Zoroark-GX!
 

What I don't get is why similar limitations don't seem to be placed on GX cards, particularly when they can be engines to 'desired board states' in and of themselves (Zoroark GX and Metagross GX both come to mind), on top of many of them being targetable by Nest Balls and Rare Candy being a thing that exists.

 
The short answer is "Because the designers are learning." but there is a lot more to it.
 
The long version was already going on its fourth or fifth paragraph, so we'll settle for the less short version.  Besides Prism Star Pokémon and Pokémon-GX having both different benefits and different drawbacks, I want to make it clear: it is very, very rare for more than a minority of the card pool to prove competitively viable.  The general rule of thumb is 20% of the card pool makes up 80% of the metagame.  Yes, these numbers aren't careful estimates but simplifications to resemble the various 80-20 rules; the take away is that a very small portion of the available cards make up the overwhelming majority of what works in competitive tournament play.
 
The best way to prove this yourself is to find someone willing and able to face you with decks that lack the "offending" mechanic.  You also should probably ask around, to make sure you're getting an idea of what cards you should consider.  For example, axing Pokémon-EX/GX from the Expanded cardpool doesn't magically balance things out; some already good decks become better, some become worse, some not-so-good decks improve, and some don't change at all... but the net effect is "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."

 

I was going to tackle some more specific comments you made, but this is likely plenty to think about.  Certainly more than enough to have to read (sorry).

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Camkitsune

Trust me.. You'll understand as you get better at the game. Soon you'll realize that trying to take out six 1 prize attackers can be more annoying than taking out three big guys.

 

GXes have a drawback i.e giving up 2 prizes (and 3 prizes for tag teams). Prism stars like Ditto are just basic pokemon on steroids with NO drawbacks beyond their limit to 1 and incapability of being revived after they are dead.

I don't appreciate the condescension, first of all.

Second of all, I can already appreciate the fact that the extra prize loss is a liability if you don't properly support the GX card - I learned that one very quickly when I tried to integrate Dialgia GX into a deck he didn't properly fit into, and ended up losing twice in a row because he ended up dying and the extra prize cost me the game.

 

Regarding Prism Star cards, the limitation to '1 per deck, and it can't be recycled if it dies' is a pretty big one - that's kinda why they can get away with being as good as they are. This is a drawback that applies to them as soon as you put them into your deck - you have to account for the fact that it might get lumped into the prize pool, and once they're gone, they're gone. They're definitely something that can be incorporated into a larger strategy - PS Diancie immediately comes to mind - but they'd be pretty hard to build as one of a deck's win conditions.

 

The major drawback to GX cards is that, if you lose board control, you have that much less time to get it back. This is a valid drawback if a GX card is not a part of the deck's win condition. It is not a valid drawback when the card's abilities create a situation where, once its on the field, the GX pokemon can't be knocked out unless you are yourself running a GX Pokemon.

 

 

 

Some of the best decks currently use very few if any GX cards. The deck I've been using lately has just a single LeleGX, which I've thrown away more often than used.

 

This is a bad argument.

 

Just because not every Planeswalker is Jace the Mind Sculptor doesn't mean that it doesn't make perfect sense from a mechanical standpoint to keep players from having more than one Planeswalker at once, nor does the fact that not all of the best Magic decks run Planeswalkers.

 

Considering it doesn't affect 'the best decks' to limit the number of copies of a GX card on the field at a time and prevents ********** play in the lower leagues (where the vast majority of people are playing), why does the content of 'the best' decks have any bearing on what the rules of the game should be?

 

Bear in mind, I'm not talking about banning the things, because in an environment where only one or two of them can be on the field at any given time, their mechanics make perfect sense.

 

 

 

Welcome to the boards, Camkitsune. Now we can discuss some of those things I've mentioned elsewhere. :) Now to discuss Pokémon LEGEND cards. Surprised you went with an older mechanic but... oh, we're talking about Prism Star Pokémon and Pokémon-GX? S'cool, but now I kind of want to revisit Pokémon LEGEND. ;)

 

 

 

 

 

Ditto {*} - "{*}" is shorthand for "Prism Star" - can't combo with Rare Candy. No, it isn't really clear based on card text, but that is the ruling. Ditto {*} is amazingly strong, to the point that four copies per deck, or even just this one copy not sending itself to the Lost Zone when it would hit the discard pile, would be ridiculous. Any Stage 1 Pokémon can be slipped into a deck as a single, allowing them to combat niche situations that normally hurt the main deck's chances at a tournament. Not running into those situations? Just use it to improve the odds of getting whatever core Stage 1 Pokémon is relevant to your deck in play, like Magcargo (CES) or Zoroark-GX!

 

 

 

 

 

The short answer is "Because the designers are learning." but there is a lot more to it.

 

 

 

The long version was already going on its fourth or fifth paragraph, so we'll settle for the less short version. Besides Prism Star Pokémon and Pokémon-GX having both different benefits and different drawbacks, I want to make it clear: it is very, very rare for more than a minority of the card pool to prove competitively viable. The general rule of thumb is 20% of the card pool makes up 80% of the metagame. Yes, these numbers aren't careful estimates but simplifications to resemble the various 80-20 rules; the take away is that a very small portion of the available cards make up the overwhelming majority of what works in competitive tournament play.

 

The best way to prove this yourself is to find someone willing and able to face you with decks that lack the "offending" mechanic. You also should probably ask around, to make sure you're getting an idea of what cards you should consider. For example, axing Pokémon-EX/GX from the Expanded cardpool doesn't magically balance things out; some already good decks become better, some become worse, some not-so-good decks improve, and some don't change at all... but the net effect is "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."

 

 

 

I was going to tackle some more specific comments you made, but this is likely plenty to think about. Certainly more than enough to have to read (sorry).

 

Good to know Ditto {*} doesn't work with RC - like I said, though, I can understand why it's limited to one per deck.  The potential for shenanigans is pretty obvious with even a cursory understanding of the game.

 

I'm also well aware of the fact that a good chunk of the card pool is non-viable - and not even in the fun 'how can I make this work' way like MtG has with cards like One With Nothing.

 

One of my biggest problems is that a not-insignificant proportion of those cards are GX cards, GX cards are exceptionally rare: I have 2855 cards, of which 27 are GX - that's less than 1% of the cards I've acquired.

 

This is coupled with the fact that they deliberately break the power-cost curve, with a lot of them having double the hitpoints of a non-GX pokemon of euqivalent stage, while either dealing enough damage to one-shot most non-GX cards, or having extremely potent Tutor effects on top of their still-inflated stats.

 

I'm well aware that axing the GX mechanic entirely wouldn't expand the Meta - my money would be on everyone just running more Garchomp-Lucario, Lost March, Tropical Shake, Vespiquen and Alolan Dugtrio decks, since those are all pretty common anyway. They're also all decks that can be built to at least partially withstand whatever GX nonsense the opponent might be running.

 

In other words, at least for players at my skill level, decks built from cards with roughly a 1% drop rate (The only number I could find was 'roughly six random GX per box of boosters') are currently dictating the meta, because to have any chance of success you have to either pay out the nose to acquire playsets of extremely rare cards, or else run a deck explicitly designed to deal with the fact that these cards can and will show up, usually in groups, from turn 2.

 

To summarize: I see GX cards a problem because they are extremely rare, extremely powerful, and don't have any restrictions when it comes to fielding them. If they were extremely rare and powerful but limited in how many you could field simultaneously, then it would be less punishing to try to build a deck with only one or two copies, and it would prevent obnoxious situations like multiple Zoroark/Metagross GX lockdowns on turn 2.

 

If they were extremely powerful and unrestricted, but weren't artificially scarce, then there would be no issue because anyone could opt to run as many as they liked relatively easily, and the GX wall, while still obnoxious, would at least not feel like being bludgeoned to death by the other person's wallet.

 

If they were extremely rare and unrestricted, but didn't have game-winning powers - in other words, if their power curve were closer to something like Lycanroc GX from Burning Shadows - then they could still fill a distinct niche without dictating the meta the way they currently do.

 

EDIT: so that's what he meant by extra spaces...  Also had to copy-paste due to being logged out while typing, had to delete a redundant pasting.

Edited by Camkitsune
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Sakura150612

Who's condescending on you dude xd This is all just friendly advice. Getting on the defensive right off the bat won't do you any favors.

 

I just kind of skimmed through everything so I won't give an elaborate response, but I'll just drop one quick comment or two. GX cards are nowhere close to being as rare as you believe they are. There are a ton of GX cards that are readily available in public trades for a low price (there's plenty in the 1-2 pack range). You need to learn how trading and the market works in this place, but once you do, obtaining almost any card you want is very easy without much of an investment in terms of actual money. 

 

Also, how is the viability of non-GX decks not a valid argument? If GX cards are the "problem", then build a non-GX deck that wins the prize race against GX decks. Granbull can easily OHKO most Pokemon GX while requiring only 1 energy to attack and giving only 1 prize when KOd. Lost March is on the same boat. To lesser degree, Night March in Expanded can also do the same thing (it uses Marshadow-GX, but you can choose not to bench it. You do have to bench Shaymin-EXs though, so sadly those are easy prey for Guzma). Damage spread decks with Tapu Koko and Weavile can be pretty terrifying too. Garchomp, while not tier 1, can hold its ground pretty well and it's extremely cheap to build (and it can do weakness damage to Zoroark-GX if you trade for the Fighting type Garchomps). These are just some examples but there are definitely more.

 

Building decks with whatever you pull from packs is a terrible idea and that's just how it is. You don't need GX cards to win, you need to know how to build decks properly, how to use the market to your advantage and how to make the best out of the free resources you're given. If you can do that, you can make some really good decks with minimal investment, and you don't need luck to pull good things from packs (opening tradable packs is also a terrible idea, never do that. Just open the free, tradelocked packs you get).

 

Listening to the advice that people have given you in good faith is the best way to improve at the game quickly. If you want to disregard it as condescending, well...

Edited by Sakura150612
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RobRatt

I read through most of this.  And at first glance, it might appear as one of the many, many players (particularly, new players) who think GX's are too powerful, and should be very limited, or even eliminated.  We've all heard the grumbling.  And most of their arguments are silly.

 

But, maybe he has a point that the Pokémon designers should consider?

 

What if the rules did have a limit of 2 of any particular GX?  That actually might make the game better, with more diversity and less repetitiveness.  You've got to admit, that once you jump into the metagame, with net-decking being so easy, that play is very similar to advanced Theme Decks.  They flip over the first card, and you know, "Oh, he's playing such and such."  There's not as much skill or craftsmanship as some like to claim.  Much of it is ego and lucky starts.

 

If you could have only 2 Zoroark-GX, 2 Tapu Lele-GX, and 2 of Whatever-GX, you would still have a viable strategy.  Yet, it would force more creativity, and balance out what is admittedly a big power curve.

 

One point he brings up is absolutely true.  GX cards are rare and limited.  Maybe too much.  It would be worthwhile for The Company to reconsider the overall count, and financial outlay, especially for new players.  Maybe that's the whole point, to get us to buy box after box, and we're just dupes.  But there are only approximately 6 per a box of 36 packs, whether Online or off.  This is a rough estimate in PTCGO, because your luck can vary, either bad or good with the RNG that determines your pack.  Still, with a GX showing up about 1.66% of the time, they could do better.

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Camkitsune

 

Who's condescending on you dude xd This is all just friendly advice. Getting on the defensive right off the bat won't do you any favors.

 

I just kind of skimmed through everything so I won't give an elaborate response, but I'll just drop one quick comment or two. GX cards are nowhere close to being as rare as you believe they are. There are a ton of GX cards that are readily available in public trades for a low price (there's plenty in the 1-2 pack range). You need to learn how trading and the market works in this place, but once you do, obtaining almost any card you want is very easy without much of an investment in terms of actual money.

 

Also, how is the viability of non-GX decks not a valid argument? If GX cards are the "problem", then build a non-GX deck that wins the prize race against GX decks. Granbull can easily OHKO most Pokemon GX while requiring only 1 energy to attack and giving only 1 prize when KOd. Lost March is on the same boat. To lesser degree, Night March in Expanded can also do the same thing (it uses Marshadow-GX, but you can choose not to bench it. You do have to bench Shaymin-EXs though, so sadly those are easy prey for Guzma). Damage spread decks with Tapu Koko and Weavile can be pretty terrifying too. Garchomp, while not tier 1, can hold its ground pretty well and it's extremely cheap to build (and it can do weakness damage to Zoroark-GX if you trade for the Fighting type Garchomps). These are just some examples but there are definitely more.

 

Building decks with whatever you pull from packs is a terrible idea and that's just how it is. You don't need GX cards to win, you need to know how to build decks properly, how to use the market to your advantage and how to make the best out of the free resources you're given. If you can do that, you can make some really good decks with minimal investment, and you don't need luck to pull good things from packs (opening tradable packs is also a terrible idea, never do that. Just open the free, tradelocked packs you get).

 

Listening to the advice that people have given you in good faith is the best way to improve at the game quickly. If you want to disregard it as condescending, well...

I have a few points I want to make here in response to this.

 

1) Communication is a two-way process. If your response to any attempt at critique of the mechanics is 'Lol Get Gud', then frankly you are not the sort of person I would want designing games. If this comes across as condescending, I'd invite you to self-reflect.

 

2) The entire reason I'm playing on the net instead of with real people is that I simply don't have the disposable income to buy physical cards on account of being out of work - in addition to not knowing anyone that still plays. Since I can't afford to plop down $20 on a few packs of cards, I'm stuck for what I either pull from earned packs or can trade for, and my experience with trading Pokemon on the online market has given me enough experience to want nothing to do with the in-game trade economy, because that's not the game I'm here to play.

 

3) GX cards are not 'the problem'.

The 'problem' is the environment they create when you can have multiple copies of them on the field simultaneously. This creates a meta-environment where decks are either running their own set of GX pokemon, or have been specifically built to come out fast and deal enough damage to knock out the bigger threats before they can come online. I know this because of how the decks that work actually function, because I have built my own versions of them, usually from the ground up. Speaking of...

 

4) You seem to be under some faulty assumptions about how I build decks, and have concluded that this is why I think GX cards should be limited. Let me explain my process:

 

Step 1: Put together a set of Pokemon with a few key synergies in mind, along with 15 or so energy and a collection of trainer cards that I think will work well together. This may be because I want to build along a particular typing, or because I played a deck idea I liked and want to try my hand at it.

 

Step 2: Playtest it, with the understanding that I'm going to lose. Keep an eye out for people with similar concepts and/or card combos that would work well in the deck I'm building, as well as making note of which cards seem to work as intended and which ones either end up working in a different way than Intended, or not working at all.

 

Step 3: Buy packs of cards in an attempt to get the cards I need more copies of based on which ones have what. Augment deck with these cards, then refine further via Step 2.

 

It didn't take me long to realize that GX cards had the market for Control decks pretty much cornered, and that the only chance I had without a set of such cards at the core of my deck was to make use of cards that could output a lot of damage with minimal set-up. This is why I listed the decks I did in my previous post: because these are the decks that I found actually worked as templates.

 

5) To keep it short: the argument about the viability of non-GX decks is bad because said decks are shaped primarily by the need to work around the primary strengths of GX decks, and because of the combined issue of GX-heavy benches simply having better numbers and stronger abilities than GX-free benches, the only way to do that is via maximizing speed and efficiency.

 

6) I have seen the Granbul-Oranguru-Magcargo deck, and while it certainly does work, it has some pretty glaring weaknesses - namely the dependency on Oranguru and Magcargo, and how badly things can go if you don't have a means of dumping your hand. That doesn't mean the deck doesn't work or isn't viable, but I'm not anywhere near as keen on building one as I was with Alolan Dugtrio, because frankly it seems like a chore to play with.

 

I also think it's hilarious that you brought up two non-GX decks I myself mentioned, without addressing why I mentioned them.

That being the case: all of these decks are built around a central engine that is, to varying degrees, fast to bring online and difficult to disrupt once in place.

 

All of them, with the exception of Garchomp - which has Lucario's frankly absurd Precognitive Aura to help it play Control - are built around sending in an army of low-commitment attackers that can deal massive amounts of damage relative to their energy investment, thanks to a highly efficient synergy the entire deck is streamlined to set up.

 

This is why I started the topic. It isn't because 'GX OP'. It is because the only reliable way to beat GX with non-GX is to follow a fairly specific template of 'do as much damage with 1-energy* Stage 1 Pokemon as possible, win through getting prizes faster'. This state of things is bad for the long-term health of the game. If you only skim this response, let this be your one take-away.

 

And, to be perfectly clear, the problem isn't with the GX cards themselves. It's with the fact that unless the non-GX decks play the way described above, they simply get overpowered by GX-heavy decks. Garchomp is the exception because, aside from requiring another Pokemon to be on the field, Precognitive Aura is on par with a lot of the abilities on some of the more prominent GX cards, and the fact that it's dependent on a Pokemon that can hit stage 2 on turn 2 with the proper set-up and is pretty strong as far non-GX cards go definitely helps.

 

5) Believe it or not, I do listen to the advice I'm given. The problem is that I didn't come here for advice, I came here to make a specific point. By ignoring said point and instead giving me advice, you are being a lot more disrespectful than I think you realize.

 

*Lost March is a single double-colorless energy, so let's skip the pedantry.

 

EDIT: fixed more spacing, clarified some language, tried to make it a bit less snarky.

Edited by Camkitsune
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Otakutron

RobRatt and company:

 

My concern is that Pokémon-GX are being used as a scapegoat; they can be properly balanced.  They can be relatively easy to obtain.  That does not mean I think all of them are well balanced.  That does not mean I like the current distribution methods; I'm a PTCGO-only player anymore because I can't afford the physical cards.  I mean can't.  Even if I could, though, I'd be hardpressed to justify the expense.

 

What I have seen, year after year and now decade after decade of the Pokémon TCG, are people mistaking the symptoms for the disease.  I certainly do not want people to like it when things aren't well-balanced; in fact, I think we are far too accepting of that and dubious approaches to distribution.  There's a difference between that and blaming an entire mechanic for the sins of the developers with certain cards.

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BowserLuigi

It didn't take me long to realize that GX cards had the market for Control decks pretty much cornered, and that the only chance I had without a set of such cards at the core of my deck was to make use of cards that could output a lot of damage with minimal set-up. This is why I listed the decks I did in my previous post: because these are the decks that I found actually worked as templates.

5) To keep it short: the argument about the viability of non-GX decks is bad because said decks are shaped primarily by the need to work around the primary strengths of GX decks, and because of the combined issue of GX-heavy benches simply having better numbers and stronger abilities than GX-free benches, the only way to do that is via maximizing speed and efficiency.

 

This is why I started the topic. It isn't because 'GX OP'. It is because the only reliable way to beat GX with non-GX is to follow a fairly specific template of 'do as much damage with 1-energy* Stage 1 Pokemon as possible, win through getting prizes faster'. This state of things is bad for the long-term health of the game. If you only skim this response, let this be your one take-away.

 

You're....seriously too many years too late for this argument, Even back in the early days of the first gen base set, the goal has always been either:

 

1. Deal as much damage as you can with minimum setup and maximum consistency (most decks)

2. Slow down your opponent (stall)

 

As an example, the most dominant archetype way back in those days is Haymaker, which uses all high HP basics that have respectable energy costs and decent damage for their energy costs.  Kinda like (good) GXes, except that they only cost 1 prize card since GXes aren't a thing back then. Then you have around 80% of cards that nobody uses cuz they are simply too weak and/or require too much setup (e.g. Charizard). It has always been like this till this day. Only difference is that OHKOes are fewer and further in between back in the day (but still possible with pluspowers, which every non-stall deck plays 4 of).

 

 

And, to be perfectly clear, the problem isn't with the GX cards themselves. It's with the fact that unless the non-GX decks play the way described above, they simply get overpowered by GX-heavy decks. Garchomp is the exception because, aside from requiring another Pokemon to be on the field, Precognitive Aura is on par with a lot of the abilities on some of the more prominent GX cards, and the fact that it's dependent on a Pokemon that can hit stage 2 on turn 2 with the proper set-up and is pretty strong as far non-GX cards go definitely helps.

They get overpowered because they are part of the 80% or so pool of cards that TPCi includes in every set but hardly anyone uses because they aren't good enough or are simply awful. It is almost impossible to balance all the cards when you have hundreds of them, and powercreep will eventually make the current cards obsolete to make way for even more OP-looking cards. This is to (probably) entice people to buy the new sets. So in short, you'll always gonna see decks trying to do big damage for little setup. AND if a deck requires a lot of setup to get going, they better have some other quality that makes them worthwhile.

 

Btw I didn't spend a single cent on any real physical Pokemon card. I built up a decent collection through years of playing and some... card marketing. Currently I don't play PTCGO because I play other games now. But I just want you to understand that such topics about 'limiting GXes' or 'GXes are OP' (you get the idea..) pop up every now and then and almost every time, the TC just has a bad deck and hasn't fully grasps the concepts of the game, which may or may not be his fault. Also keep in mind that no matter what rules you impose on the game, the meta will always consist of the best available decks that are confined to those rules. Limiting GXes won't make previously unviable decks viable. Even if you ban all meta cards, previously non-meta cards will just take their place and become the new meta cards.

 

If you could have only 2 Zoroark-GX, 2 Tapu Lele-GX, and 2 of Whatever-GX, you would still have a viable strategy.  Yet, it would force more creativity, and balance out what is admittedly a big power curve.

Honestly, I think a GX limit would make the game (at least, in expanded) a little less cancerous simply because Zoroark GX exists. This card is just ridiculous in more ways than one. Hardly any deck uses more than 2 Tapu Lele GX nowadays, and limiting other GXes would just make those decks weaker while (competitively-viable) non-GX decks are like meh whatever. Limiting GXes won't suddenly make..say...Garchomp meta.

 

Though it does make the game a little more cheaper but TPCi probably doesn't want that :P

 

One point he brings up is absolutely true.  GX cards are rare and limited.  Maybe too much.  It would be worthwhile for The Company to reconsider the overall count, and financial outlay, especially for new players.  Maybe that's the whole point, to get us to buy box after box, and we're just dupes.  But there are only approximately 6 per a box of 36 packs, whether Online or off.  This is a rough estimate in PTCGO, because your luck can vary, either bad or good with the RNG that determines your pack.  Still, with a GX showing up about 1.66% of the time, they could do better.

Maybe they should just increase the drop rate? Gachas are cancerous after all. But if they want more money then.....

Edited by BowserLuigi
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Sakura150612

What? No one told you "lol get gud", that's just your interpretation. BowserLuigi just said that you'll eventually improve at the game (getting better doesn't mean you're bad at the moment, it just means you can improve). It's a pity that you're not interested in advice as there is much to be learned from the perspective of the other people in this board. However, do keep in mind that this is a free discussion. You've opened the topic regarding the availability and limitations (or lack thereof) of GX cards, so naturally people who disagree will share their view. If you don't wan't to take advice that's fine, just don't think that people's responses are mean spirited, because they aren't. Also, to quickly address your points:
 

1) Communication is a two-way process. If your response to any attempt at critique of the mechanics is 'Lol Get Gud', then frankly you are not the sort of person I would want designing games. If this comes across as condescending, I'd invite you to self-reflect.

Explained that one up there, and I'm not sure why you think this response would come across as condescending to me (it doesn't).
 

2) The entire reason I'm playing on the net instead of with real people is that I simply don't have the disposable income to buy physical cards on account of being out of work - in addition to not knowing anyone that still plays. Since I can't afford to plop down $20 on a few packs of cards, I'm stuck for what I either pull from earned packs or can trade for, and my experience with trading Pokemon on the online market has given me enough experience to want nothing to do with the in-game trade economy, because that's not the game I'm here to play.

You don't need any disposable income. Investing real money into codes just accelerates the process, but you can build huge collections on nothing but free stuff. There is more than one way to go around it, but the best path for a new account is to play one of the default decks for a few games until you have 500 Tokens, then buy the best possible Theme Deck available in the store at the moment. You can use that to ladder grind for some time while you get used to the game at the same time. From there you have two options: build a budget deck that can be made mostly with cards obtained from Theme Decks, or keep playing Theme for a while. Currently, Mach Strike x2 for Garchomp is good for a start. After that using your tickets for events (specially after a new expansion is released, when all the event prizes are the new pack) will allow you to accumulate tradable packs. During the week after Lost Thunder was released, I earned 70+ packs playing events (using a deck that's not particularly expensive). So there you go, you can earn enough packs to build good decks for free if you're patient enough.

Again, opening tradable packs is a horrible idea, and if you keep doing that and continue getting bad pulls from them then that's on you. It's your choice to roll the dice when you had better alternatives with no luck involved.

 

Again, opening tradelocked packs is fine, just never open the ones you obtain in events. Also, don't spend your Tokens on packs if you're low on resources. Theme Decks are a better investment. More specifically, buying Theme Decks that contain staples and Pokemon you specifically need, as opposed to buying packs and praying to RNGeesus, is the better way of spending Tokens. I'd only spend Tokens on packs if you already have the basics covered. 
 

3) GX cards are not 'the problem'.

The 'problem' is the environment they create when you can have multiple copies of them on the field simultaneously. This creates a meta-environment where decks are either running their own set of GX pokemon, or have been specifically built to come out fast and deal enough damage to knock out the bigger threats before they can come online. I know this because of how the decks that work actually function, because I have built my own versions of them, usually from the ground up.

It didn't take me long to realize that GX cards had the market for Control decks pretty much cornered, and that the only chance I had without a set of such cards at the core of my deck was to make use of cards that could output a lot of damage with minimal set-up. This is why I listed the decks I did in my previous post: because these are the decks that I found actually worked as templates.

5) To keep it short: the argument about the viability of non-GX decks is bad because said decks are shaped primarily by the need to work around the primary strengths of GX decks, and because of the combined issue of GX-heavy benches simply having better numbers and stronger abilities than GX-free benches, the only way to do that is via maximizing speed and efficiency.

This is why I started the topic. It isn't because 'GX OP'. It is because the only reliable way to beat GX with non-GX is to follow a fairly specific template of 'do as much damage with 1-energy* Stage 1 Pokemon as possible, win through getting prizes faster'. This state of things is bad for the long-term health of the game. If you only skim this response, let this be your one take-away.

And, to be perfectly clear, the problem isn't with the GX cards themselves. It's with the fact that unless the non-GX decks play the way described above, they simply get overpowered by GX-heavy decks. Garchomp is the exception because, aside from requiring another Pokemon to be on the field, Precognitive Aura is on par with a lot of the abilities on some of the more prominent GX cards, and the fact that it's dependent on a Pokemon that can hit stage 2 on turn 2 with the proper set-up and is pretty strong as far non-GX cards go definitely helps.

Refer to BowserLuigi's response up above. It perfectly answers this.
 

IStep 1: Put together a set of Pokemon with a few key synergies in mind, along with 15 or so energy and a collection of trainer cards that I think will work well together. This may be because I want to build along a particular typing, or because I played a deck idea I liked and want to try my hand at it.

Step 2: Playtest it, with the understanding that I'm going to lose. Keep an eye out for people with similar concepts and/or card combos that would work well in the deck I'm building, as well as making note of which cards seem to work as intended and which ones either end up working in a different way than Intended, or not working at all.

Step 3: Buy packs of cards in an attempt to get the cards I need more copies of based on which ones have what. Augment deck with these cards, then refine further via Step 2.

The text mark in red is the only glaring issue I could spot (besides opening packs, which I already addressed). Unless you're playing Rayquaza-GX or a similar deck that specifically require a large energy count, you are using way too many energies. This can brick the deck hard, making it very frustrating to play. If you're willing to, post your usual Pokemon/Trainer/Energy distribution, or even an example decklist. I'm almost certain that you're missing out on something key when it comes to deckbuilding, just how your energy count is too high. If you can prove me wrong, then I'll be on my way and leave it at this. And don't tell me that you don't have money to make it better, because a lot of the basic deckbuilding comes to using a good proportion of staples that are either available for free right from the beginning or can be obtained very easily from Theme Decks that you can buy with Tokens. Heck, a lot of experienced players are willing to part with their spares to help out new players, or even go out of their way to give some more rare cards to them. When they have the right attitude, that is.

 

Also, one last thing:

5) Believe it or not, I do listen to the advice I'm given. The problem is that I didn't come here for advice, I came here to make a specific point. By ignoring said point and instead giving me advice, you are being a lot more disrespectful than I think you realize.

*Lost March is a single double-colorless energy, so let's skip the pedantry.

So you think I'm being pedantic and disrespectful, and that BowserLuigi is condescending... Why? All we're doing is telling you what we know, in good faith. If you want to see everything in a negative light, that's your choice I suppose, but it will only be to your own detriment. People are less likely to listen to you (and help you if you needed any help) like this.

Edited by Sakura150612
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Felidae_

I read through most of this.  And at first glance, it might appear as one of the many, many players (particularly, new players) who think GX's are too powerful, and should be very limited, or even eliminated.  We've all heard the grumbling.  And most of their arguments are silly.

 

But, maybe he has a point that the Pokémon designers should consider?

 

What if the rules did have a limit of 2 of any particular GX?  That actually might make the game better, with more diversity and less repetitiveness.  You've got to admit, that once you jump into the metagame, with net-decking being so easy, that play is very similar to advanced Theme Decks.  They flip over the first card, and you know, "Oh, he's playing such and such."  There's not as much skill or craftsmanship as some like to claim.  Much of it is ego and lucky starts.

 

If you could have only 2 Zoroark-GX, 2 Tapu Lele-GX, and 2 of Whatever-GX, you would still have a viable strategy.  Yet, it would force more creativity, and balance out what is admittedly a big power curve.

 

One point he brings up is absolutely true.  GX cards are rare and limited.  Maybe too much.  It would be worthwhile for The Company to reconsider the overall count, and financial outlay, especially for new players.  Maybe that's the whole point, to get us to buy box after box, and we're just dupes.  But there are only approximately 6 per a box of 36 packs, whether Online or off.  This is a rough estimate in PTCGO, because your luck can vary, either bad or good with the RNG that determines your pack.  Still, with a GX showing up about 1.66% of the time, they could do better.

If that would be the case, logic would dictate that before Pokemon GX / EX ( the second wave) were introduced, the meta was more diverse.

Looking back at older tournament results I honestly don't see this.

With a limited card pool you'll always have a couple of decks that stand out above the curve. No arbitrary restriction is going to change that.

Also, as I said in my “little” rant about the bans, if they really want to spice things up they should look at the trainer cards before even tinkering with any sort of limitation towards Pokemon.

 

Base set had Charizard and Blastoise,the new set has a SR trainer card and RR Pokemon GX.

Ultra rare cards have always been a driving factor to sell TCGs and quite frankly you either accept that, or stop buying the primary product and only look at the secondary market ( which is usually much more economical).

Still, there is a reason why the majority of content produced for the card game is based on people opening packs, rather than playing the game, because in essence TCGs are a legal form of gambling for children and we all love those sweet sweet endorphins and the thrill of the hunt.

 

 

The only real live card were limitation has been a concern ( speaking of the current meta) is probably Tropical Beach, but other than that I don't see a lot of players who are unable to compete, due to a lack of resources (and don't even get me started on the online game, there are probably more Tapu Lele GX available online than the entirety of physical GX Pokemon combined.

 

On a completely unrelated side note: Is it just me, or has your view of the game shifted slightly in the last time? Maybe its just the new hat, but I can't help to notice a shift in your tone.

 

#rant

 

You made your point. Now what ?

Honestly, looking at this thread I can see that you are able to express your opinion in a coherent and sophisticated way, which already puts you above 99,9% of other beginners on these boards.

Regardless of that, I still fail to realize what you are trying to accomplish. If you only wanted to post your feedback (nothing wrong with that), why engage in a discussion then?

If you don't want help, why mention that you struggle with simple things (i.e. deck consistency)?

 

Before this goes on for a couple of pages, repeating the same arguments over and over, maybe we settle it right here.

 

  1. We acknowledge your opinion and likewise we hope that you also acknowledge that more experienced players have a different view.

  2. You are free to tackle the game in any way you like, regardless, if you ever feel the need to ask for help don't shy away to ask. Additionally, don't bring shackles to a hundred meter dash and then complain that everyone else is faster.

  3. Trying to blame the game for mistakes that lie completely in your hands (i.e. poor management of resources) won't get you anywhere.

  4. The environment you are playing in and an actual reflection of the game are two entirely different entities. Conclusions that are based on your own little bubble don't affect the macrocosm of the game.

  5. Surprisingly, there is always the option to quite the game. Everyone has their own taste and if you can't compete with GX Pokemon (or in general don't like how the game has evolved), well there are plenty of other options out there

 

Last but not least:

 

Learn to play, scrub.

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RobRatt

On a completely unrelated side note: Is it just me, or has your view of the game shifted slightly in the last time? Maybe its just the new hat, but I can't help to notice a shift in your tone.

I'm not entirely sure what changes you've perceived, or whether this is positive.  By asking, I'm assuming it's not.

 

Observation noted.  :cool:

 

Your opinion is always welcome, good or bad.  Feel free to send me a PM if needed.  Otherwise, maybe I'll just give my replies a little more thought.  I'll admit, I have been just banging out some base impulses, without much proofreading.

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Camkitsune

Short-fire responses, since server errors ate my longer reply and I don't want to take an hour to write it all out again.
Most of this is going to be in the first chunk.

@BowserLuigi
I was playing back when Haymaker was one of the decks to beat - Rain Dance and Damage Swap may not have been as competitive but they weren't exactly non-viable. Granted, I was in elementary school, so I could be grossly mistaken.

There are actually four general strategies:
1: Haymaker - high efficiency, fast drops, applies pressure by constantly being on the offensive.
2: Control - heavily dependent on card advantage, applies pressure by preventing the player from doing the things they want to do.
3: Rain Dance - low efficiency, but built around a particular card combination that allows for the one-energy-per-turn rule to be circumvented. Keeps up pressure by either a looming threat on the bench or by throwing the energy at the player directly via cards like Alolan Dugtrio or Fwamefwower attacks.  (EDIT: Why does the auto-censor hit the name of a common Pokemon attack?)
4: Damage Swap - Usually these are combo decks of some kind - they absorb everything the opponent throws at them and win by either donk tactics or some kind of time bomb effect.

The current meta (from what I've seen and from what other people have been bringing up in this thread) is split between Haymaker-types and Control-types.
Haymakers have gotten to the point where they require virtually no investment to deal enough damage to 1- to 2-shot most cards, which renders most Rain Dance types obsolete (Alolan Dugtrio gets away with it by never actually needing to drop the energy from the hand, aside from throwing it at the opponent's 'mon like shurikens).
Control is dominated by GX cards that have incredibly potent effects for gaining and retaining card advantage.
Damage Swap archetypes are in a rough spot right now on account of how much damage haymakers can put out, though the appearance of 300 HP tag team cards may change that.

It is actually a good point, though - are Haymaker decks responsible for the GX power creep, or did the GX power creep necessitate the better Haymaker decks?

An argument that I mentioned in the post the Server Langoleres got: a limitation on the number of GX cards in play at any given time actually opens up a bit of design room, in that the ability on an individual card can be more powerful if there is no risk of it being interacted with by a second copy on the same bench.

This kind of goes back to the original point, though. Bench space is limited. If your deck requires an effect like Zoroark GX's Trade, the only reasons for not taking Zoroark over Swampert (who does the same thing but is squishier, comes out slower, and takes up more space in the deck) would be because you didn't have Zoroark GX (not as much a problem for net deckers, but these people do exist, and I'd imagine they're a more integral part of the customer base) or because deck building restrictions prevented it.

@Sakura
I didn't call you pedantic- that was a disclaimer for the statement about 1 energy power-attackers relating to the fact that double-colorless energy is a thing.
Condescending isn't necessarily the same thing as mean-spirited.
15 energy was a starting point because I prefer to start with too much and whittle it down based on what playtesting tells me the deck needs more of. The deck I play the most of has 16, but 6 of those are dump-energies for Shuckle, and usually end up as ****** for ultra balls or getting stuck to Oranguru if I end up drawing them.
You're disrespectful because you skimmed an attempt at a coherent argument, assumed that I was just venting due to salt. It's also disrespectful (not to mention exceptionally patronizing) to insist that I need help instead of actually making an argument.

@Felidae
Talking about these things is interesting and sometimes genuinely enjoyable.
Forums are for having conversations - that is why the 'reply' button is there.
Tournaments are not reflective of the broader player experience (unless you're referring specifically to the ones in the TCGO), in which case they're a better data point but still not an adequate one.
What dominates the meta isn't necessarily the most powerful thing: something can be objectively very powerful, but specifically vulnerable to something that gets played all the time, and therefore see little use. The opposite is also true - something could be fairly lackluster in general, but a great counter to something that tends to be very popular, and thus see a lot more use than it otherwise would.
You can insist that I started this thread out of salt and are replying to it out of further salt, but that won't make it true.

I am aware that I am only experiencing a limited portion of the player ecosystem.  Are you aware that this is true of you, too?
I'll get better at the card game if you get better at making an actual argument.

Edited by Camkitsune
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Sakura150612

:rolleyes:

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SuperStone

The general rule of thumb is 20% of the card pool makes up 80% of the metagame.  Yes, these numbers aren't careful estimates but simplifications to resemble the various 80-20 rules; the take away is that a very small portion of the available cards make up the overwhelming majority of what works in competitive tournament play.

I've seen that ratio before, and it seems pretty generous to me.  There are 1,545 cards (excluding promos) in Standard right now, and of course some are reprints, but I estimate about 70 usable trainers and 120 pokemon (including preevolutions).  That comes to 13%, and that counts a great deal of cards which almost never see competitive play, but simply have potential.  It seems to me that while a set these days is well over 100 cards, most don't even have 20 usable ones.

 

#wastingtimeonlongcomplicatedestimatesnobodycaresabout

#thatsalonghashtag

Edited by SuperStone
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BowserLuigi

I was playing back when Haymaker was one of the decks to beat - Rain Dance and Damage Swap may not have been as competitive but they weren't exactly non-viable. Granted, I was in elementary school, so I could be grossly mistaken.

Rain Dance was actually meta. The only meta deck with a stage 2 in fact (back in those days at least). Haymaker was obviously more dominant. Damage Swap....didn't really fly back then. My guest was that they simply do not pack enough offensive pressure to keep up with the meta decks. I would say Damage Swap was kinda like a Royal Blades Garchomp deck back in the day. It IS viable, but just isn't good enough to have much standing in the meta. 

 

At some point though (I think it's from Base Rocket onward), Do the Wave (Wigglytuff) became REALLY dominant. Even surpassing Haymaker.

 

There are actually four general strategies:

1: Haymaker - high efficiency, fast drops, applies pressure by constantly being on the offensive.

2: Control - heavily dependent on card advantage, applies pressure by preventing the player from doing the things they want to do.

3: Rain Dance - low efficiency, but built around a particular card combination that allows for the one-energy-per-turn rule to be circumvented. Keeps up pressure by either a looming threat on the bench or by throwing the energy at the player directly via cards like Alolan Dugtrio or Fwamefwower attacks.  (EDIT: Why does the auto-censor hit the name of a common Pokemon attack?)

4: Damage Swap - Usually these are combo decks of some kind - they absorb everything the opponent throws at them and win by either donk tactics or some kind of time bomb effect.

 

The current meta (from what I've seen and from what other people have been bringing up in this thread) is split between Haymaker-types and Control-types.

Haymakers have gotten to the point where they require virtually no investment to deal enough damage to 1- to 2-shot most cards, which renders most Rain Dance types obsolete (Alolan Dugtrio gets away with it by never actually needing to drop the energy from the hand, aside from throwing it at the opponent's 'mon like shurikens).

Control is dominated by GX cards that have incredibly potent effects for gaining and retaining card advantage.

Damage Swap archetypes are in a rough spot right now on account of how much damage haymakers can put out, though the appearance of 300 HP tag team cards may change that.

'Rain Dance' and 'Haymaker' (based on your given definitions) really just aim to do the same thing i.e. do huge damage. The only 'difference' (if you would call that a difference) is how they accomplish that damage. As an example, by those definitions Rayquaza GX would be a Rain Dance deck because of Rayquaza's and Vikavolt's abilities accelerating energies as fast as they can..except that this deck isn't really 'low efficiency', nor is it obsolete as it is still very much meta. In fact, a lot of decks nowadays have energy acceleration of some kind, since attaching one energy per turn is considered super slow nowadays unless your attackers only require one energy.

 

As for damage swap, there was a pretty recent expanded deck that literally uses the ability Damage Swap but its win condition, Unown DAMAGE, got banned. You can try looking it up. It might....give you nightmares. As for 'absorb everything the opponent throws at them and win by either donk tactics or some kind of time bomb effect', that basically describes a handful of stall decks. Magikarp and Wailord GX are starting to go on the offensive now though instead of just being a huge meat sack. There are also spread decks. Currently some Malamar variants are into that with Spell Tag, Giratina and even Shining Arceus.

 

But to put it simply, a lot of decks just wanna do a lot of damage. AND unfortunately around 80% of cards don't do enough damage nor hinder your opponent from doing enough damage. 

 

Maybe the only real answer to your original question (as to why GXes don't have a 1-per-deck limit) is that TPCi just doesn't want to do that. With only 1 GX, less packs will need to be bought and they will lose revenue. If I can only use 2 Zoroark GX in a deck, then there's no reason for me to get a 3rd or a 4th. But since we have no such rule, players are obligated to get 4 copies, thus they spend more money. Technically they can implement a 2 GX-only rule and there would still be a meta, but that's not the meta that TPCi wants.

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Otakutron

Here is where I may be of some use to you all: classifying stuff. XP  I've never found a perfect system, but here are some of the ways I've seen over the years that help.  Sorry for newer players, but I'll be referencing the early days of the game, from Base Set only to (approximately) Base Set through Team Rocket, because that metagame is more "solved" than the modern one.  Please pardon the length of this reply.

 

Core Win Conditions

 

There have always been at least three win conditions in the Pokémon TCG, and they dictate the general strategies:

  • Knock Out (win by taking all your Prizes)
  • Bench Out (win by running your opponent out of Pokémon)
  • Deck Out (win by running your opponent out of cards)
  • Effect Out (win through an alternate condition)

While Bench Outs and Deck Outs happen,  Knock Outs are how the game is won the vast majority of the time.  Bench Outs are probably the next most common; while only a major threat at select times in the history of the game, they're an easy "incidental" win for decks pursuing a win by Knock Out.  A similar phenomenon is why true wins through Deck Out are rare; unless you're able to rapidly deck out your opponent or your deck takes few or no KO's, by the time your opponent decks out you may have already taken all your Prizes.

 

There have been additional win conditions introduced over the years, in the form of various "You win if [insert condition is satisfied]." effects introduced through specific cards.  They are not only rare because they tie into specific cards that may predate Expanded (Lost World) or are about to be banned (Unown "DAMAGE"), but also run that same risk where you end up winning or may as well have focused on winning due to another method.

 

Core Strategies

 

Keeping the above in mind, we've seen six overarching strategies emerge.  I'm pretty sure they all predate the Pokémon TCG.  It is actually pretty rare for a deck to run only one of these, and some technically must exist as at least a hybrid:

  • Alternate - Alternate Win Conditions like (Unown DAMAGE)
  • Beatdown - A deck focused on winning through taking Prizes by attacking.
  • Control - Achieving a win through controlling an opponent's actions, technically requires an additional condition.
  • Direct - A deck focused on winning through taking Prizes without attacking.
  • Mill - A deck focused on winning by running the other player out of cards.
  • Stall - A deck that wins by simply not losing; technically requires another win condition.

If "direct" sounds odd, that's because I actually refer to it as "Burn", because its a concept that transcends games and thus precedes the Special Condition.  I'm open to suggestions for a better name. ^^'  "Effect" sounds like "Alternate", which is why I didn't use that. As for why I went with such a divide, I had to ask how much of a difference it makes whether one is attacking for damage or attacking to place damage counters?  To actually just take a Prize without doing anything to an opponent's Pokémon?

 

Seriously, I just had to take three tries on that last sentence because I wanted to say "directly", which means the "Direct" classification still needs a better name! >_<

 

Deck Tiers

 

I've seen this used for just deck efficacy or just a deck's actual usage at tournaments, including myself, but considering both is probably the best approach.  Because I play too many video games, I actually prefer to use "Ranks" with "Letters", but I'll stick with the numbers I see more often.  All of these are assuming that all other factors are equal, which is almost never the case.  The lower the number in a Tier, the stronger and/or more played it is; generally speaking, what keeps higher numbered Tiers from winning are either competition from each other or from the lower numbers.

 

Tier Zero isn't always agreed to exist; it is for the kind of "problem" decks that may necessitate a ban, errata, hard-counter, rotation, etc. to remedy the situation.  After that, each Tier represents a coherent, functionally structured deck.  Tiers can fluctuate due to the metagame, even when trying to otherwise assume all things are equal.

 

Examples

 

During the early days of the game, Base Set through Team Rocket (and prior), all remotely competitive decks included at least a few Control elements (Energy Removal, Gust of Wind, etc.) so when I list something as Control, I mean more than that.

 

the Tier 1 deck appears to have been Haymaker and its variants.  Haymaker was a beatdown/control deck that specifically only ran Basic Pokémon.  Lore has it that the deck was named after an early, erroneous translation of the second attack found on Hitmonchan (Base Set).  Its variants could run Evolutions.  There are too many to name them all, but besides different combinations of potent, Basic Pokémon attackers, some would run Wigglytuff (Jungle) as an attacker, Aerodactyl (Fossil) as a Bench-sitter, Muk (Fossil) as a Bench-sitter, or try to include an attacker that matched each Weakness (Potpourri decks).

 

Tier 2 was Blastoise (Base Set) a.k.a. Rain Dance, a beatdown deck,  and Wigglytuff backed by Muk (beatdown/control).

 

Tier 3 has several "near misses", like the decks built around Alakazam (Base Set) and its "Damage Swap" Pokémon Power, sometimes known as "the Wall Stall".  This was a control/stall deck.  Venusaur (Base Set) decks were another one; usually a beatdown/stall deck with an added focus on healing, it was also known as "Venucenter".  I also recall an Arcanine (Base Set) deck known as "Turbo Puppy" that as a decent "budget" pick, though due to card prices at the time it may not have seemed all that affordable.

 

Decks often shifted Tiers; sometimes Rain Dance was legitimately Tier 1; it was a very solid strategy.  Sometimes Damage Swap or Venucenter were effectively Tier 1 because even people running better decks didn't realize how to effectively neutralize their strategies.  The iconic Haymaker deck actually was more like Tier 2 by some point between Fossil and Team Rocket, due to Mewtwo (WotC Black Star Promos 3, 14) a.k.a. "Movie Promo Mewtwo".  If you are okay with it being part of Haymaker (I was), even using it in a Hitmonchan-less Haymaker (again, I was), then Haymaker was still top tier.

 

As a final note, joke decks like Mulligan's Mewtwo sometimes faked being competitive because of the combination of card scarcity, ignorance of strategy, and misundestood rulings. ;)

Edited by Otakutron
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