Archive for the ' Challenge' Category Challenge: Initial Cards, Initial Deck

Monday, November 28th, 2011

I got an email today informing me that Pikkdogs sent in an envelope for the Challenge. It seems that he was waiting for me to announce the theme deck I’d be using as a base for the card pool. Well, in a way that’s why I waited to announce it. I wanted the donations to drive the deck instead of the donations being driven by the choice of theme deck.

I’ll take what I can get, though, and Pikkdogs has already informed me about what I’ll be getting. I figured that I’d take the opportunity to discuss what he sent, how it will help form the initial decklist, and maybe you’ll get a glimpse of my thought process that will go into these sessions. First of all, let’s look at the list of cards he sent. If you missed the last installment, you may also want to see the Ember Spark theme deck cardlist.

3-Raichu Prime
2-Black Belt
1-Victini (Fire Version)

Continue reading " Challenge: Initial Cards, Initial Deck" Challenge: Ember Spark

Saturday, November 26th, 2011

In an attempt to “spark” your interest, I’m going to announce the preconstructed theme deck I plan to add to the card pool. My daughter, Ava, has offered to let us use her Ember Spark deck. Please understand that I do not want to base a deck around this. It’s not meant to be a basis for the deck I play.

Please don’t look at this and think, “He needs this Fire/Lightning Pokemon to go with that list.” If you want to send fire/lightning types, great, however I’d rather just trash all these Pokemon listed here and build something entirely from what you provide. I also need to make sure I have a tourney legal deck, and that’s the reason I’m adding this theme deck to the card pool. I have no allegiance to red or yellow at this point. It’s ultimately the donation-based card pool that will dictate which Pokemon will make the cut. If you want to help out with that send an email to or fill out the form over here.

When I discuss these cards in the Challenge, I will have a different perspective than I’d normally use for discussing tournament-viable cards. One main difference is that, in a tourney-ready deck, you would not choose a card that had an obvious “better.” For example, you wouldn’t play Pokemon Reversal over Pokemon Catcher. Catcher is clearly better. Most similar cards are less obvious, but players get into a consensus leader sort of mentality. For example, for draw supporters, most people would use PONT or Juniper over Bianca.

Who Wouldn't Pick Peyton? But Eli's not bad.

The point is that this does not make Reversal, Bianca, or any other cards with a better “bigger brother” bad cards. It just means that there’s generally a better choice available.

Well, when there’s not a better choice available, then the “not bad” choice becomes, well, not bad. It may even the best available.

That’s the way I will have to evaluate the cards in the Challenge. No longer are cards rated against the overall modified-legal pool. They’ll have to be evaluated on their general usefulness. Once the card pool is further along, then the cards can be weighed against each other.

So, let’s look at the cards in the “Ember Spark” deck. I can’t rightfully compare these against each other, but I can comment on their general usefulness in a yet-to-be-built deck.

Here’s the card list.

Continue reading " Challenge: Ember Spark" Challenge: The Plan

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Pokemon ReversalThe Motivation: Okay, so maybe announcing the idea without discussing the plan wasn’t the best. I know that some people are very skeptical, but I’m hoping that you stick with me and hear me out. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you might want to read the Challenge: Announcement before continuing.

Before I go further, let me dispel some obvious (as in I understand why you’d make them) misunderstandings. I’m not expecting people to build me a top-tier deck. I’m not doing this to save time, and I’m definitely not doing this to save money. I’m doing this as an experiment to build community around something new that I hope will be exciting and enjoyable for all participants.

I keep using the word “experiment,” because I feel very unsure about all of this. At times, I’m very excited about trying something new and crazy. At other times, like now, I feel fairly down, because I wonder if anyone will care to become part of this thing I’m hoping we can create together.

The main problem is that it’s a crazy idea, and I don’t know anything like this that has been attempted before. I’m hoping that makes it unique and intriguing, but only time will tell. I really want to find people that are willing to help me create something new and build a community that works together to make something out of nothing. I hope that is enough motivation for some to take the initial leap. Then maybe others will see how it’s working and join in later.

Continue reading " Challenge: The Plan" Challenge: Announcement

Wednesday, 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.
Continue reading " Challenge: Announcement"