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GrandChamp89

Power Creep in Pokemon?

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GrandChamp89

Hi fellow trainers. 

 

I was scrolling through some pokemon cards and noticed how cards have gotten increasingly strong with every generation. 

More HP, more damage, more effects. 

 

I made a little comparison in the link below of some Charizards through the different generations. I know there's exceptions to this, but overall it seems like there's a real case of power creep going on. 

Now with the future rotation it seems there's gonna be some beefy cards hitting exanded, and it is only gonna get worse when people can't play their tag team pokemon in standard anymore. 

 

Charizard comparison:

https://i.imgur.com/34F6aeu.jpg

 

What is your guys take on it? Does the extra prize cards justify the beef'd stats? would an original set stand a chance against a Sun&Moon deck? Or are we heading towards a case of power creep where you have to spend $$ every year to stay competitive? 

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RobRatt
Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, GrandChamp89 said:

Does the extra prize cards justify the beef'd stats? 

 

Losing two Prizes for an EX/GX, or three Prizes for a Tag Team makes a major difference.  Yes, they need bigger attacks and HP to justify the difference.  Really though, while many people might see these newer cards "being too strong," it actually gives non-EX/GX decks (requiring 6 Prizes) a decent fighting chance.

 

3 hours ago, GrandChamp89 said:

would an original set stand a chance against a Sun&Moon deck?

 

Never. ...at least if you used current rules and Trainers.  It would be like a tiny Poodle picking on a Rottweiler.

 

3 hours ago, GrandChamp89 said:

Or are we heading towards a case of power creep where you have to spend $$ every year to stay competitive? 

 

If you personally invested millions into game design, employees, production, overhead, and distribution, what would you do?  I would expect to make a profit, and find the right balance to make players happy.  Maybe they'll come out with a free Socialist Version where everybody has equal cards and the same decks, but that doesn't sound very fun or challenging to me.

 

Edited by RobRatt

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Sniperi96
Posted (edited)

By their nature TCGs have always some level of power creep. There are bound to be cards that are better than others and as copying pokemons with same exact text would make no sense, it's only matter of time before the numbers get bigger(or game mechanics get better).But while you presented comparison straight to EX charizard, at the moment we have come from the hp 120 of original Base set Charizard to 150 hp of Teu Charizard(or arguably to 180 of detective piachu charizard, but that card seems to only have it to not die instantly from its attack recoil). By comparison while for example Yu-gi-oh hasn't got better cards comparing raw attack or defence points, effects on monsters and summoning mechanics have gotten really heavily powercreeped over time to the point I wouldn't recognize the game from what I used to play in 2013.

 

Pokemon uses set rotation as main balancing tool for standard. While in past I believed this to only force players to buy cards and as such being inferior to banned-limited-card list from yugioh, in grand scheme konamis tendency to destroy decks by single limited-banned lists doesn't seem any better. At least in set rotation players have clear ideas what to expect instead of their favourite decks being swept away out of blue. I also think this system has allowed Nintendo to keep powercreep decently in check and as such there isn't actually that drastic change in how game plays out today compared to how it used to play 20 years ago.

Edited by Sniperi96
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SKBellmore
3 hours ago, Sniperi96 said:

Pokemon uses set rotation as main balancing tool for standard.

This is right, but sometimes it doesn’t seem it, especially this rotation. We’re losing Zoroark GX, Lycanroc GX, and Buzzwole GX, which were some of the only cards that could stand up to PikaRom. Although, Fairy Charm Lightning is going to be big for GardEon.

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Sniperi96
Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, SKBellmore said:

This is right, but sometimes it doesn’t seem it, especially this rotation. We’re losing Zoroark GX, Lycanroc GX, and Buzzwole GX, which were some of the only cards that could stand up to PikaRom. Although, Fairy Charm Lightning is going to be big for GardEon.

I think there is fairly good chance reshizard will have good matchup against pikarom  seeing that it only needs 10+ dmg to 1-hit-ko pikarom. Also we still have baby-buzz to tech against pikarom and as baby-blacepahalon is looking really promising deck there is good chance tag team decks can be kept in check.

 

But certainly set-rotation demands extra care from card designers to plan ahead and can be slow to react should one deck suddenly rise to extremely overpowered state(could demand banning cards). I don't see this happening with pikarom however.

Edited by Sniperi96
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SKBellmore
9 minutes ago, Sniperi96 said:

I think there is fairly good chance reshizard will have good matchup against pikarom  seeing that it only needs 10+ dmg to 1-hit-ko pikarom. Also we still have baby-buzz to tech against pikarom and as baby-blacepahalon is looking really promising deck there is good chance tag team decks can be kept in check.

 

But certainly set-rotation demands extra care from card designers to plan ahead and can be slow to react should one deck suddenly rise to extremely overpowered state(could demand banning cards). I don't see this happening with pikarom however.

Yeah, but the Tapu Fini coming out in Unified minds will be the death of Blachephalon, and QuagaNadel or Blastoise decks will probably become popular in the coming meta. 

 

Of course, we still have Lucario GX and Buzzwole, but I don’t see how people will fit them into decks (besides Zapdos/UBs) after the rotation. Maybe we could see an upsurge of these Pokémon after Fire types become less viable, or Fighting types get a good boost.

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Sniperi96
Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, SKBellmore said:

Yeah, but the Tapu Fini coming out in Unified minds will be the death of Blachephalon, and QuagaNadel or Blastoise decks will probably become popular in the coming meta. 

 

Of course, we still have Lucario GX and Buzzwole, but I don’t see how people will fit them into decks (besides Zapdos/UBs) after the rotation. Maybe we could see an upsurge of these Pokémon after Fire types become less viable, or Fighting types get a good boost.

Yes, and to close the rock-paper-scissors cycle I would claim that celesaur will have decent space in meta due to it having good matchup against the said water decks.

If pikarom was to rise, I don't see why wouldn't players start teching buzz in other than zapdos decks. The reason why only zapdos is teching it at the moment is that zapdos especially has hard time to get kos against zoroark and pikarom. Ultra necrozma can ko pikarom with decent effort, so can blacephalon and zoroark has lycanroc to do that too. The fact is other meta decks don't want to tech buzz because they don't need to at the moment.  Also quagnag getting fighting type quagsire should mean it will have good way to effectively fight against pikarom.

 

Edited by Sniperi96
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Felidae_
5 hours ago, Sniperi96 said:

. I also think this system has allowed Nintendo to keep powercreep decently in check and as such there isn't actually that drastic change in how game plays out today compared to how it used to play 20 years ago.

Nintendo hasn't much to do with Pokemon any more for quite some time now, but otherwise I'd agree with all of your points.

 

@OP:

You make on crucial mistake that a lot of new players tend to do: Your focus on the Pokemon themselves, which is understandable since they are the most recognisable cards, yet the main engine that determined how “fast” and “strong” any given format played out have been the Trainer cards.

 

If you take a deck that can be played in both formats (say Rayquaza GX) and compare the two lists back to back, the Standard version suddenly looks like a lame duck in contrast to the Expanded list, despite running the same core attacker.

 

Finding the right balance between Trainer cards that allow your engine to work and the HP / Damage scaling of Pokemon is no easy task and I wouldn't say that TPCI gets it right for every rotation, yet we can't deny that they at least try to make every format somewhat unique.

 

Naturally power creep has to exist, because this is a business after all and in the end you are only going to buy the new expansion when there are cards that excite you, yet taking Unbroken Bonds as an example I really like that instead of giving tools to already existing strong decks they usually tend to find a sweet spot where they print enough cards to favour an energy type that hasn't seen much play in the past and try to punch that type into the competitive landscape. Sometimes they go a little overboard (cough, Eletropower, cough), but at least they don't force you to throw your deck away with every new set.

 

Last but not least, let's end with a quote from my Unbroken Bonds Set Review:

Quote

Unfortunately Reshiram & Charizard GX are the expected disappointment, but at least they fit the theme over overpriced attacks that looks more impressive on paper than in an actual game.

 

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Sakura150612

If you really think about it, more HP doesn't mean anything if everything does more damage too (and viceversa). Newer players look at things like 300 HP basic Pokemon (tag team GXs) and probably think "how in the world am I supposed to KO this", but then they play some more and realize that 150+ damage attacks are common and easily accesible, so you're still looking at a 2HKO meta (which, correct me if I'm wrong, isn't too different from how things used to be back when the most HP Pokemon ever had was around 100 but attacks that did around 50 damage existed. Even if looks less intimidating, the result is the same).

 

While it's true some of the old cards have fallen out of favor due to powercreep, others have remained just as good. For example, I feel like Mega Evolutions have been completely left behind by the powercreep since evolution Pokemon GX fill the same role but usually have more HP, more damage and don't depend on Spirit Links. Decks like Night March, however, have managed to survive for years after their release and have remained viable even after thousands of flashy new cards have been printed. NM in particular doesn't care too much the increased damage due to powercreep because the NM Pokemon have always been 1HP wonders anyway (everything OHKO's them). While 300 HP Pokemon mean that NM will never OHKO them, you can still 2HKO them for 3 prizes while they only take 2 (because they can KO one of your NM cards in each turn). If you factor in weakness, it's completely hilarious how a 300 HP raidboss goes down in 1 hit to a card that is nearly 5 years old (so much for powercreep).

 

TL;DR I wouldn't say that powercreep is a problem. Some cards will inevitably fall out of favor, but others can still survive (or even thrive) in the "powercreep'd" meta. You're not really forced to fork over a huge wad of cash to have a good deck. If you play at highly competitive levels the story might be different since you have to keep up with the rotations and buy the absurdly expensive new cards like TUP Jirachi on-release before the price can stableize and before the card gets either a reprint or a Yellow A print in a promo box of some sort. But at a casual level, you have no reason to empty your bank account on new stuff as soon as it comes out.

 

If you're playing online, just forget about money altogether. It's entirely possible to build a massive collection out of nothing but packs earned in tournaments (using a 500 Token Theme Deck at first until you have enough packs to build a competitive custom deck). Real money just accelerates the process but it's most definitely not a requirement.

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BowserLuigi

^ Regarding ReshiZard, wasn't there a Japanese tourney in which a ReshiZard deck won (or just placed good, I forgot?) 

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RobRatt
Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, BowserLuigi said:

^ Regarding ReshiZard, wasn't there a Japanese tourney in which a ReshiZard deck won (or just placed good, I forgot?) 

 

About a week ago (the April 14th weekend), in Kyoto.  There were 1500 Masters, and it took 1st place, 4th, 7th, 10th, 12th, etc., with 12 showings in Top 32.

 

Edited by RobRatt
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Felidae_

Holy cow you are right. How did that happen xD?

 

Here is the list for anyone who's interested:

Spoiler

 

Pokemon - 12

3 Reshiram & Charizard-GX SM10 7

2 Jirachi TEU 99

1 Tapu Lele-GX GRI 60

1 Dedenne-GX SM9a 16

1 Marshadow SLG 45

1 Miltank CIN 78

1 Mew SM10 37

1 Hoopa SM10a 29

1 Absol TEU 88

 

Trainer - 36

4 Welder SM10 87

3 Kiawe BUS 116

3 Guzma BUS 115

4 Ultra Ball SUM 135

4 Nest Ball SUM 123

3 Flame Crystal SM10 83

2 Switch SUM 132

2 Escape Rope BUS 114

2 Reset Stamp SM10a 46

1 Adventure Bag LOT 167

2 Escape Board UPR 122

2 Choice Band GRI 121

2 Unmanned Power Plant SM9b 50

1 Giant Furnace SM10a 50

1 Heat Factory Prism Star LOT 178

 

Energy - 12

12 Fire Energy 2

 

 

I guess I really did underestimate the power of Welder and the lack of strong water decks to exploit the weakness.

Now I'm really curious how the meta will develop here in the West, because this is a deck that I hadn't on my radar at all. Thanks a lot for the info you two :).

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BowserLuigi
16 hours ago, Felidae_ said:

Holy cow you are right. How did that happen xD?

 

Here is the list for anyone who's interested:

  Reveal hidden contents

 

Pokemon - 12

3 Reshiram & Charizard-GX SM10 7

2 Jirachi TEU 99

1 Tapu Lele-GX GRI 60

1 Dedenne-GX SM9a 16

1 Marshadow SLG 45

1 Miltank CIN 78

1 Mew SM10 37

1 Hoopa SM10a 29

1 Absol TEU 88

 

Trainer - 36

4 Welder SM10 87

3 Kiawe BUS 116

3 Guzma BUS 115

4 Ultra Ball SUM 135

4 Nest Ball SUM 123

3 Flame Crystal SM10 83

2 Switch SUM 132

2 Escape Rope BUS 114

2 Reset Stamp SM10a 46

1 Adventure Bag LOT 167

2 Escape Board UPR 122

2 Choice Band GRI 121

2 Unmanned Power Plant SM9b 50

1 Giant Furnace SM10a 50

1 Heat Factory Prism Star LOT 178

 

Energy - 12

12 Fire Energy 2

 

 

I guess I really did underestimate the power of Welder and the lack of strong water decks to exploit the weakness.

Now I'm really curious how the meta will develop here in the West, because this is a deck that I hadn't on my radar at all. Thanks a lot for the info you two :).

Let's see.. 

 

230+choice band OHKOes pikarom and Gardeveon. GX attack kills anything in one hit (which is something very few other pokemon not named Rayquaza GX can actually achieve against tag teams). Miltank turns Welder and 3 fire energy into a max potion. Absol to troll opposing Jirachi, Malamar etc. Hoopa to... deal with the 2nd placed deck (Regigigas/Hoopa stall) I guess. 

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