Challenge: Announcement

by Ed ~ November 16th, 2011.

Prologue: This is not a charity. This is a community-building experiment. I have plenty of cards, and I’m not poor. I’m not begging for handouts. I’m hoping that we can team up and work together to build something new and exciting.

Me, Pedro (dressed as Pikachu), and Pikkdogs

Intro: I woke up one Saturday morning a few weeks back, and instead of getting out of bed right away, I had an unusual chance to hang out and be lazy for a bit.  While I was slowly waking up, I had an idea.  I’ve been thinking about it ever since, and I think it’s finally time to start implementing it.  I’m excited to try it.  Once you get what’s going on, I hope you will be too, because it heavily involves you.

Before we get into the idea itself, I want to give a bit of background.  I feel that this is important to add credibility to my part in all of this, so here’s a quick overview of my Pokemon experience.

Background: When the game first came out, I got into it quite a bit.  I mainly just played at one shop named Mirkwood, but I attended many of the weekly tournaments there.  I also helped run their Pokemon league, and I was appointed as the gym trainer for a while.  Well, that lasted until just after Fossil came out.  I won some tourneys back then, but I kinda feel like they don’t count.

I re-entered the game around this time 2 years ago.  I started with the City Championships, attended 4 in the area, and didn’t do particularly well.  Leading up to States, I decided to build a real top-tier deck.  At that tourney, my first States, I dropped after Swiss.  I didn’t really think much of dropping, as Pokemon wasn’t a huge thing to me at the time.  In retrospect, it seems a bit crazy.  Had I stayed, I was 5th going into top cut.

After that, I stuck with my deck, Gyarados, and took my wife and daughter to Regionals in Wisconsin Dells.  I had an impressive run at my first Regionals that year.  On my way to 17th place (they cut to top 16), I had some great matches including a tough fought win against Ross Cawthon who was playing LuxChomp.

For my second States, I again chose Gyarados.  I had done pretty well with it leading up to States.  I had good matchups throughout the day, and went into top cut paired against Donphan.  I easily won that matchup, but the next two were difficult.  Maybe karma from dropping my first time came back around, but in 2011, I ended the day with a win and a bunch of prizes including the first place medal.

Me and the boyz at Nats

Maybe my main accomplishment is getting lucky and having the right deck/cards at the right time.  Jay Hornung has to be the best player that I’ve played multiple times.  I’ve matched up against him 3 different times in top cut, and I’ve won all 3 matches.

So, I hope that didn’t all come off like I was trying to brag.  I’m not trying to say that I’m better than anyone.  I just want to come off as someone that can play at the top tables and have the potential to beat anyone given the right situation.

Challenge: Now, I want to tell you my plan to completely eliminate the possibility of that “right situation” prospect.  I want to build a new challenge for both myself and you, the OneHitKO readers.  This challenge will be played out in the normal tourney scene, but will be almost like creating a game inside of the normal game we all play.

I want your help to build the deck I play.  I’m not talking about giving me advice about my list.  I’m talking about having you, the OneHitKO reader community, define what cards I get to pick for my deck.

Essentially, I am going to build my deck from a limited card pool.  I’m asking you to come along beside me to create that card pool.  I will be accepting donations which will go into the “ Challenge Card Pool.”  Out of this card pool, I will choose 60 cards to play in upcoming tournaments.

I assume that the card pool will be rather limited, and I will have come up with interesting ways to optimize a 60-card deck given this restrictive card base.  I am used to building decks based on an unlimited card pool.  My technique is usually to build a deck on paper, tweak it until I think it’s tournament ready, and then obtain the cards I don’t already own.

This will no longer be the case, as I will be forced to make choices based on what I have in front of me.  It may not be at all what I would normally build with.  I fully expect to field a deck that I would otherwise never have played.  This is the risk, but it’s also the exciting part.

My daughter Ava and I at Regionals

Together, we will create a community-built deck, and I will play it and report my progress.  Each new tournament will hopefully see new improvements in the deck and progress in the play of the deck.

I’m serious about this, and fully expect to play this deck in each of the City Championships I can attend.  Usually that would be 4 Citys for me.  If things go well (and I don’t mean in the WIN/LOSS sense), I plan to keep the “ Challenge” active and carry it on to States and beyond.

Yes, that means that the defending MN State champion will likely be playing a deck you helped create.  It might be no better than a pre-constructed theme deck. It might not be pretty, but it should be pretty interesting!

My hope in this is that you will be excited and want to join me in this quest.  I want both you and I to be a part of something big.  Who knows how far this could go?  I want to build this as a community-driven deck where we all have the chance to become part of something that is much greater than the sum of its parts.

In coming articles, I will explain the specifics of how this will work.  Where will the cards come from?  How will you contribute?  How will we build the deck?  What will our goals be?  How will we measure success?  What would cause me to submit myself to such an experiment?  These are all candidates for future discussion.  Feel free to add others in the comment section below.

One thing that I need help with right now is to generate more interest in this project.  I will be calling it the “ Challenge” as you may have noticed already.  To make this successful, we will need to get others on board.  Spread the word.  Tell your Pokemon playing friends about this article.  Mention it in other forums or comments wherever you think people might want to know about the crazy guy that’s going to build a deck based on donations.

Oh, did I just let that slip?  Yeah, if you didn’t already infer that, the card pool will be based on your cards.  I will be accepting donations from the OneHitKO community.  Once you donate, you will be part of each of my tournaments.  Together we will become unstoppable!

Category: Challenge | Tags:
  • Ed

    About that last sentence.  By “unstoppable” I mean slightly above stoppable.  “Unstoppable” just sounds so much better.

    I’m going for an Obi Wan sort of thing here.  Hopefully every time I lose a game, I shall become more powerful than my opponent could possibly imagine.

    • Anonymous

      EXACTLY! Other ways you are like Obi Wan:

      1. You will also be played by Ewan McGregor in “OHKO, The Movie”.
      2. Unflinchingly calm demeanor, even in the face of certain defeat. (Which don’t happen often!)
      3. Mind games. “That is not the Pokemon you’re Communicating for.”
      4. You are our only hope.

      • Ed

        1)  Can I still do my own stunts?
        2)  In college I learned how to sleep while still seeming to pay attention.
        3)  I’ve been working on this one.  Waving my hand across the play area seems too obvious.  Unfortunately, people also notice when I do it under the table.
        4)  No.  There is another.

        • Anonymous

          people notice when I do it under the table to. 

          Note, that is code. 

  • Imakunineo

    Ill be honest, you say you have your own cards and that you can afford them. Yet, you call for the community to take on this, send you cards for you to play on tournaments. What gives, you might end selling all these extra cards! You must have a pool of your own cards to be able to build random decks to partake on tournaments, thus I believe that the community should iNSTEAD take a look at what you have [make a google document] and have the community vote on it.

    Your justification for me to send you my cards doesnt seems that well, specially since I am not getting anything back but the feedback from your deck. Will I get my cards back? what for? This plan isnt well done and sincerely I dont feel like I should send you anything at all.

    Too many risks, you already exposed the fact that you have more than enough, yet this seems a little… Greedy.  You could plan this a lot better without us having to go through the expense of putting real money behind this experiment of yours. Shipping, Supplies and Cards cost money, this website is free… What will happen to the cards not selected? pool them? then what? have a good resource to draw upon for when your team needs a certain card? sell them as stock to large card resellers? send them back? Too many flaws and risks and little to no guarantee of what will happen… Sounds to me like you are getting the advantage and none for us.

    Hope you can address this, the experiment seems to me like a gimmick. No one wants to read about the decks that lose, gimmicks can be played online via simulated tournaments to test them.

    Hope to hear more and have my doubts resolved,

    • Ed

      I knew it was a risk to announce this without laying out the entire plan.  At the same time, I want to hear feedback like this before I go to far, because I don’t want to get it wrong.  I don’t think starting over after it has already begun would work well at all.

      The main way I would address your concern, though, is that I don’t expect anyone to send “good” cards.  If they’re worth money to you, then why would you give them away?  Yeah, I get that.  That’s not what I’m going for.  My expectation is that the card pool won’t be worth much in the end.

      It will be very difficult to build a usable deck without some staples.  I’m thinking mainly Collector and Catcher will be the two big ones here.  Though, there are replacements even for those.  Dual Ball and Reversal come to mind.  Who would be concerned about parting with some of those, and where would the profit be in obtaining them?

      I fully expect that people won’t get it right away.  The entire idea is way out there.  Maybe it’ll fail, but I’m willing to attempt it just to see how people react.

      One major issue will be the fact that I will be required to field a legal deck.  To do so, I will have to start with something.  My plan is to start with a pre-constructed theme deck.  This way, even if nobody donates, I’ll be able to enter the City Championships.

      Another major issue will be the initial goal.  Again, this is something I planned to announce in my upcoming post, but at this moment, I’m thinking that I’d like to try to hit 50% wins in a tourney.  That’s shooting pretty high, especially if nobody donates.  Even if they do, though, who’s to say that any of the donations will even work together to create something useful?  Heck, I could easily go winless.

      But basically, I am expecting to receive cards that would otherwise go unused.  To send them should cost a buck or less.  Maybe some people will base what they send on what they think I need.  Others might just send me some random junk and see what I do with it.  To me it’s all part of the experiment.  The sad part to me is that I know some people’s donations will go unused.

      Well, I didn’t expect to write this much, but your comment warranted much more than a “wait until the next article” sort of reply.  Thanks!  I really hope you end up liking the whole thing, but who knows.  If I was confident about it all, I wouldn’t keep referring to it as an experiment.

  • Anonymous

    Metagross UL is an interesting card. I’m gonna let you guys think of combos.