Ratings Discussion and Battle Roads Impressions at the Mid-Point

by Pikkdogs ~ September 30th, 2011.

A big hello to all you OHKOers out there.  This is Pikkdogs here with his sidekick Pedro, and we are here to talk about the new ratings system and how Battle Roads are going.   

The New Ratings System

We’re talking about the ratings change now?  Didn’t that occur like two weeks ago?

Well, yes, but I just understood it now.

Don’t lie to us, you don’t understand it.

Well, no, but nobody really does, so I will just pretend I do like everybody else does.  And I’ll say the term “kicker points”  a lot, that will make me look smart.

I see.  “Kicker Points.”  Oh, yeah those are how I won my fantasy football game last week.

You play fantasy football?

Oh Hell Yeah!  Though my team is suffering this year.  I always take Peyton Manning first because I like his tushy.

Pedro are you gay? 

How can I be gay? I’m not human. I’ma  freaking extra-dimensionary being.

Ok, good enough for me, lets get back to ratings points.

Play Points

As you probably found out a couple weeks ago, Pokemon is changing how ratings work, and how people get invited to certain events like Worlds and Nationals.  Instead of using ELO, we are instead going to use Championship Points and Play Points.

I kind of liked the ELO.  I like the cellos and the violins.

I don’t think we’re talking about the same ELO, and i think someone on www.sixprizes.com did that same joke last week.

Anyway, ELO is not used as much anymore and Championship Points (CP) are in.  CPs reward you for winning or making top cut in premiere rated tournaments.  Anytime you win a tournament or do well in it you will receive points.  For winning a Battle Road you will get 2 points, for a City Championship it’s 6 points, and it is 10 points for  a State or a Regional win.  The second place finisher will always get points as well.  1 for  a Battle Road, 5 for a City, and 8 for a State or a Regional.  3rd and 4th place finishers will also get points at cities, and 5-8 finishers will get points at states or regionals.

So  just because you got 3rd and a victory cup at a Battle Roads, does not mean that you get a championship point.  But, you could.  That’s where Kicker Points come, or “kick”, in.  If there are more than 31 people at your BR and you get 3rd you will get a championship point.  This is nice because it rewards people who are in tough playing areas, while it doesn’t reward people who live in less competitve areas.

That’s about it for CPs, except for the fact hat CPs are given at Worlds.  This is really weird because traditionally the season is over after Worlds, so why would you need a ratings system. The only thing the ELO really did was give us Worlds players, so why are we using a ratings system after it has out lived its usefulness?  I’m not sure, but it sounds like either points will carry over next season, or we are going to have some kind of award for the most points.   I hate either option.  I don’t want winners from one season be given a pass in the next, and why should we have two champions for one year?  Things are looking weird with this, but I bet Pokemon will keep their lips sealed until about a day before they are about to use these worlds points for something.

Play Points

There are now something called Play Points.  Pokemon has not discussed exactly what will happen with these yet.  It seems that if you go to a BR or a league season you will get a point.  You probably will get more points for going to a bigger event like Regionals.  Your player rewards will be determined from these, which is basically just what they do now, they just are giving more weight to bigger tournaments.

This is entirely speculation, but Play Points might also help you qualify for your national tournament.  What Pokemon is trying to do here by making nationals by invitation only seems to be to try to stop one man, Tom Dolezal.  Tom does not play in games most of the season, but always goes to nationals and always gets a high enough rating to go to worlds.  I know it might seem unfair to point out Tom when other people do it too, but he does it the best.  I guess Pokemon does not like people who sit out the entire season, and then pick the game up in the last 2 months of the year and win all the prizes.  It has not yet been confirmed, but it seems like Pokemon might be requiring us to have so many Play Points to enter Nationals.  While I do not like the idea of having to qualify for Nats, only rewarding us hardworking players seems like a good thing to me.  The only problem is that for the area around Nationals, a lot of local people start the game at Nationals.  I have a lot of friends who started the game at nats, now that will not be able to happen.  So on the whole, I do support the Tom Dolezal rule but it is not the best rule.


I think the new rating system does some good things, while also promoting some not so good things.

One good thing that comes out of this rule change is that there are less incentives to drop.  Now a player cannot hurt himself by playing in a tournament.  The worst thing that can happen by going to a tournament is that you don’t get any CPs.  Before, the better players were dropping out of the bigger tournaments because they were afraid that they would lose and lose the rating points that they already earned.  Now, this will not be the case.

But, this does not mean that the new system discourages dropping as a whole.  I think that on the whole this system encourages dropping.  If you know within the first couple rounds that you will not be making top cut and getting a CP, it only makes sense to drop.  There is no longer an incentive to play a tournament out, once you know you will not top cut, you might as well drop.

Which brings us to another critique of the new ratings system, the fact that this system does not reward consistent play.  This system does not reward people who consistently do just above average, it rewards the people that Top Cut.  Sine CPs will probably only effect Worlds participants, this shouldn’t be a big problem, but I think there is a lot to be said for a consistent player.

Well that’s my overview and thoughts about the new ratings system.  Although it is not perfect, I think it is a step in the right direction.

Fall Battle Roads at the Midway Point

Here is the second part of the two part article.  Battle Roads have reached their mid point, and it is time to see how things have been going.  Lets start by looking at what has been winning.  According to Pokegym.net, here are the top preforming decks with their corresponding number of wins:

  1. Reshiram (either Typholosion or Emboar)-10
  2. Stage 1 Rush (varius variants)-10
  3. Zekrom9
  4. PrimeTime5
  5. Magneboar2
  6. Gothitelle2

That is just the number of BR’s that were reported to Pokegym, I am sure there are many other BR’s that did not report.  Anyway, this should be a good list of what has gone on in the past couple weeks.

The interesting thing about this list (and the way I compiled it) is that it gives us three distinct decks that are doing very well.  You could call Zekrom, Reshiram, and the Stage 1 Variants as our Top Tier.  Next you have Prime as a solid Tier 2 (if not Tier 1) and then a bunch of decks coming later.  Those decks include the likes of Gothitelle, Ross Deck, and Donphan and Dragons.  You could think of these being solid Tier 2 or 3.  This is just based on what has happened so far, the next couple weeks could change things, but for right now it seems we have some pretty neat categories.

If you read other sites, you will notice that their lists have a lot more decks in it than mine.  This is because I have consolidated a lot of decks with other similar decks.  I think there are basically only about 6 or so decks out there.  Why other people list there being 15 is that people play a lot of different variants in this format.  This means that one list is very different from another.  This can make it difficult to play test if people are running decks that are different from what other people are running. 

What is key in this format is the word “variation.”  No stage 1 deck is the same, no Donphan and Dragons deck is the same.  There is a lot of room for techs in this format and people are sure showing that.

Another thing we learned in this format is that so far Gothitelle is a good deck, but has not found good player support.  The best players right now are playing Stage 1 Rush or Zekrom, but they are not playing Gothitelle.  Once Gothtitelle gets more support from the best players (like Trainerlock deck last year) I think the deck will take off.  Especially look it to take off during Fall Regionals.

Another thing I learned is that a lot of the nationals decks are still around.  Yes, basically the same Reshiphlosion and Primetime decks are still pretty good.  I suppose a good Stage 1 deck could still make it today, but the deck can be changed a lot.  Of course, the biggest change is 4 Pokemon Catchers, and the importance of getting early knock outs.

So………….well……….I’m pretty much done here, I think I rambled on for enough words, Pedro how do we usually end articles here?

Well we usually leave by having a musical guest.

A musical guest?  We can’t afford a musical guest.  I’m just a poor fat guy who lives in a one bedroom shack somewhere.  What do you expect us to have some cool and popular singer like Tony Basil?

No, but it does give us an excuse to show a picture of her in a cheerleaders outfit.

Category: Opinion | Tags: , , , , , ,