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!

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