Pikkdogs v.s. BittyBoy: The 30+3 format.

by Pikkdogs ~ November 11th, 2010.

Hey everyone in Omar-Nation.  This is Pikkdogs and BittyBoy, here.  We are here to bring you a new article, “Pikkdogs v.s. Bittyboy.”  In each article we will debate each other on a hot button issue in Pokemon.

This week we are talking about the 30+3 Format.  Bittyboy will be arguing for it while I will be taking the anti-30+3 stance.



My opinion is that the new 30+3 format just is not good for the game.

One reason for this is because it limits your deck options. I will not run the same types of decks that I did last year, because of the 30 +3 format. This format promotes decks that are fast and can take quick prizes. If your deck doesn’t setup in the first two turns, and your opponent’s deck can, you will lose. There simply is not enough time to come back once you are down a few prizes. It seems like TPCI is pushing all players to run SP, because these are the decks that have the best chances to win in the 30 +3 format and in sudden death.

Another reason that this format isn’t good for the game is that it doesn’t stop stalling, it helps people who stall. Yes I understand that once you get to the +3 part of the format, stalling does no good. Unfortunately, it is easier to stall up to that point. The reason is that, instead of stalling for 40 minutes, you only have to stall for 30 minutes. So all you have to do is run a deck that lets you take 2-3 prizes early, then take your time for the next 15 minutes. It gives you 10 less minutes to stall, and makes it easier to keep track of time.

A third reason why I don’t like this format is because it’s a little confusing. Now, I understand the format perfectly, but it’s impossible to look at a new player and say “we’re playing a 30 +3, okay?” What this results in is the tournament organizer having to delay play for 5 minutes while he explains the 30 +3 system to 2 people. This makes everyone mad and just delays the tournament, and it is necessary for every tournament from now on, until they change the format.

The 30+3 format also doesn’t really speed up the tournament like it is supposed to. I don’t have any hard numbers to prove this, but at my local BR’s this fall, there didn’t seem to be any real change in the time it took to run each round. Last year, it took a long time to finish each round, and the same thing has been happening this year. If anything, the +3 part of the format just takes more time than any 4 turns have in the past. When someone hears that the +3 turns are about to start, every player relaxes and knows that turn-length is not a factor, so they take their time with each decision they make. This just makes each game last longer than it did before.

So, what’s a good solution? Just return it to the time limit like it was last year, to around 45 minutes or so. That time is way too long to stall, and gets rid of the confusion with all the +3 stuff. The KISS system works! “Keep It Simple, Stupid!”

Overall, I believe that 30+3 is a good idea!

The 30+3 format really helps speed things up. Do you ever remember being at a tournament late at night playing top cut? I believe this move was made mainly because of this reason. Tournaments were simply taking too long, and now they can speed up a little a bit. I will be the first to say that I am tired after playing a couple games at something smaller like a City Championship, and I am beat. I can only image what it must be like being a judge or tournament organizer who has to stay there for hours on end while we play, stall, and have fun! Contrary to what Pikkdogs believes, I think that 30+3 does speed things up to some extent.

Another reason why I believe that 30+3 is a good idea is because it makes it easier to win by defensively. That is the exact reason why I love this idea! Games aren’t fun when your opponent is intentionally stalling you out by playing slowly and waiting for time to be called.

The interesting thing about 30+3 is that things like Chatter Lock are still going to work! Even though you can’t win on prizes as easily, you can still use defensive tactics like that, and then take out something for an easy prize on the final turn of the game. If you ask me, I think this makes Chatter Lock even more effective than it was before! You can lock the opponent through the 30 and the +3 and then KO their active in sudden-death.

Personally I think this does prevent stalling to some extent even though Pikkdogs doesn’t think it will. I can tell you for a fact that a lot of people in my area won’t be happy that they can no longer run time out once they have a lead. They’ll now have to play an honest game. In the +three turns, I don’t care. You can take as long as you want! I doubt we will be able to have a time limit where stalling is impossible, but I think this will help greatly.

As for Josh’s third reason, I also believe it can be confusing for new players, but, on the other hand, as long as there is somebody there to explain it to them they’ll get it. How did you learn about it? All of us got surprised by 30+3 this season and we all adapted to it fairly well, I think. At least I did!

The Judges in my area go over 30+3 before every tournament. If you go into 30+3, they usually explain it again to make sure you get it. Everything goes fairly smooth, and I believe that new players will get it just as easy as we did.

Also, not a lot of new players will actually go into 30+3. I’m not trying to be mean or anything, but their games usually never last more than 30 minutes, from what I’ve seen.

Personally, the few times I have played 30+3 this season, I have enjoyed it. I do agree with Josh on this one. We do get a little relaxed when we hear “plus 3,” but I usually still play at a decent pace and life goes on. The extra 3 turns does give you time to relax a little bit and better think your moves as well! The change is that there will be a judge hanging over you in +3, so you will most likely still have to play at a decent pace or risk being penalized.

So thats what we think about it, so what do you guys think?

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