Pikkdogs vs. Pedro: Is Playing Durant Dishonorable?

by Pikkdogs ~ March 12th, 2012.

A big hello to all you OHKOers out there.  This is Pikkdogs here with an opinion/debate article.  In this article I shall debate against my sidekick/nemesis Pedro.  Are you ready Pedro?

No, we gotta have our news article before we go on to the article. 

Alright let’s go. What do you got for us today?

Well, today we have news from TMZ.  TMZ is reporting that there is a Hulk Hogan sex tape that is being shopped around to different porn companies.  Do you like the idea of a Hogan sex tape Pikkdogs?

Of course I am a huge fan of the Hulkster, though I don’t know if I want to see a Hogan porn.

The Hulkster is known for telling boys and girls to eat your vitamins and say your prayers, not eatting-

Hey, this is a family website.

Is it?

Well, no, if it is you are in a pretty screwed up family.

I actually got a free preview of the tape, and I must say that it actually is a fairly good movie.  Everything was going well until “Rowdy” Roddy Piper comes in and hits Hulk with a steel chair.  Then, the” Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase runs into the room and puts Hulk through a table.  That kind of ruined the movie. 

I would think so.

Is Playing Durant Dishonorable?

Before we get to the debate, let me do a little setup.  There has been a debate among Pokemon players for some time now on whether playing the Durant deck is an honorable thing to do, or if it is kind of cheap.  So, in this article me and Pedro will have a debate on the topic and settle the argument forever.  Please feel free to put your own points into the discussion by writing in the comment section of the article.  Also, be sure to vote on who you think debated better, Pedro or I.

haha I noozled you guys again!

So Pedro, we are ready to debate.  What side of the argument do you want to take?

I don’t really care.

Well, I don’t care either.

Well, this should be a rousing debate then, no buddy seems to care. 

Ok, then you can take the affirmative and I will do the negative.

Playing Durant is Dishonorable by Pedro.

Before I get to my argument, I must put my italics converter into my inter-dimensionary porthole.  Here we go, all better.

There is no doubt that playing Durant is not an honorable thing to do.  As Sheldon Cooper once said in the Big Bang Theory, “like a milking stool, my case rests on three legs.” The first leg of the argument is that the Durant deck does not take any skill to run.  The second leg is that the deck gets illegitimate wins based on luck.  Finally, the third leg has to do with the deck making the game boring.

Even though people have different reasons for playing this game, one of the more popular reasons is that the skill and thought that it takes to win makes the game fun and enjoyable.  Pokemon is very much like  Chess, it is a game of skill and people play to enjoy themselves and test their wits against each other.  We could test our wits by jousting, but that takes a lot of expensive equipment, horses, and it can get bloody.  So, instead we choose to match wits with Pokemon.

Durant takes this skill away from the game.  Playing this deck does not take any skill.  All you have to do is use Pokemon Collector to grab 3 Durants, and then say the word “Devour.”  That is all you really need to do.  To make things  a little less simple, we can also talk about how the deck uses other cards.  When use draw a card like Metal Energy, Lost Remover, Crushing Hammer, or Eviolite all you have to do is play it.  There might be a little skill in deciding what energy to remove, but not much.  For the most part all you do is play the cards as you get them, and then say “Devour.”  There is no skill  like there is with other decks.

In other decks you have to decide what Pokemon you want to knock out, and you have to use skill to try to do the highest amount of damage and certain parts of the game.  There is none of this in Durant, all you gotta do is say the word “Devour.”  You do not have the mind games that you do with other decks.

The second leg of my argument is similar.  The Durant player does not win by using skill, but by using luck.  Just like the #1 pick in the NFL draft this year, a Durant deck is all about Luck.  It almost does not matter what deck you are playing against, the plan is the same, to setup fast and start milling quickly.  And what determines how quickly you get milling, luck.  The hand you get when you start the game, and what your next draw is, is what really determines the outcome of the game.  We all know that it is not a question of can a Durant player win against this deck, but it is how fast will it take Durant to mill.  If the answer is around 7-8 turns than it is an easy win for Durant.  If it is more like 10 turns, than it is a win for the other deck.  And, it is your starting hand, and your draw on the next turn or so, that determines how many turns it will take you.  And you starting hand is determined by the luck of the draw.

What fun is a game if your entire day is determined by luck?  This game is supposed to be fun and exciting, not just luck based.  It is true that some decks rely on luck, even luck early in the game, but no deck is so reliant on getting luck early.  There has to be skill somewhere in the deck, not just all luck.  But, that is what Durant is all luck.  You wonder why during Cities 2 similar Durant lists with 2  players of  similar skill can do so differently?  It is because of luck.  We had some very similar Durant lists going 1-5 and then 6-0.  Having that much variance in results surely indicate that the deck is way too reliant on luck to be honorable.

The final leg of my argument has to do with Durant making the game boring.  Not only does Durant make skill go out the window, it makes fun go out the window.  You have not seen boredom until you have seen a top cut filled with Durant decks.  After the first couple turns, all anyone did was maybe play a Lost Remover or attach an energy, and then say the word “Devour”.  All this does is Devour our precious time away.  Nobody wants to see a Durant mirror match-up because all it is is two people yelling “Devour” to each other.  The person who wins is usually the person who prizes the best.  The person who has a Durant in their prizes usually loses.  And it is no fun to have a game decided by what is in your prizes.

So in close it is dishonorable to play Durant because it takes everything that is good about the game and vomits all over it like party-goers at Charlie Sheen’s house.  The deck takes no skill, relies on luck, and just makes the game very boring.  I rest my case. 

Playing Durant is no Dishonorable

Good job Pedro.  I have a big job ahead of me.

My opponent is greatly under-estimating how much skill it does take to play Durant.  He would have you think that just because the player only uses one attack, that would mean that there is no skill.  Well, if that is so would you not think that Mewtwo EX would require no skill?  He only uses the “X-Ball” attack.  Just because you only use one attack does not mean that the deck is totally auto-pilot.

A good Durant player does not just use “Devour”, he also uses a lot of other attacks.  Durant himself has an attack that does 30 damage, which is enough to knock out the games most popular starter, Cleffa.   There are also other attackers in the Durant deck.  Durant players frequently use Prism energy in their deck so they can attack with Rotom.  Rotom can snipe out attackers, giving the Durant player more options, which needs more skill from the player to decide how to attack.  One of the most popular Durant lists also runs Cobalion NV to attack.  With Cobalion, the Durant player has the option to try to take 6 prizes.  These options require more skill from the player to decide which ones to use.

There is also skill in deciding what version of the deck you would like to run.  Although I would concede that the deck might take a little less skill than some other decks, there is a lot of skill to making your list.  There are a lot of options to go with.  You can decide to run more energy removers, or more defensive cards like Defender, or you can run other attackers like Cobalion.  The number of variations of Durant decks that are out there right now is vast.  You will need to use your skill and knowledge as a deck builder to build a version that is best for you area.

My opponent would also like you to believe that playing Durant is dishonorable because the deck is luck based.  He would have you believe that the fact that  your odds to win are based on what happens during the first couple turns of the game.

I would concede that this is true, but isn’t that same thing true of every deck right now?  We always here people complaining that almost every game is decided by which player goes first.  Just because this is true for Durant, why should Durant take all the hate.  Shouldn’t the blame go to the rules and the format itself?

We also here people complain that they didn’t get to draw a supporter until several turns into the game, or that they got a terrible draw off of a supporter.  So it is not Durant’s fault that what happens off the first couple supporters determines what happens in a game, that is what happens in every game.  Doesn’t the Magnezone deck rely on an early Pokemon Collector just like Durant does, so why does Durant take all the blame?

The third argument that my opponent has made is that Durant takes the fun out of the game.  While I concede that a lot of people play the game for fun, should I sacrifice my record just so other people can have fun.  If you want to have fun you can go ride a rollercoaster, don’t tell me that I can’t succeed just because it isn’t fun for you.

If a player can be successful with Durant, why should they think about someone else’s level of fun?  I would say that if you do very well with Durant you will be having a lot of fun.  The most fun I have had at tournaments is when I win, so it seems that Durant does lead to a lot of fun.

Now that I have responded to my colleague’s points, I would like to make some points of my own.  If you watch the first season the Pokemon anime, you would have listened to its legendary theme song.  The first line is this, “I wanna be the very best, that no one ever was.”  This series was very popular, almost as popular as the video game.  And without a doubt, it has been more popular than competitive play of the Trading Card Game.   This means that the Anime has been very influential in all aspects of Pokemon, and there is no doubt that almost all players have the passion “to be the very best”.  So if everyone wants to “be the very best”, wouldn’t it be against the Pokemon way to not be the very best?  It would be un-Pokemon like to not use every fair advantage possible to win.

We all know that Durant is a very good deck.  It was the most successful deck of the last few weekends of City Championships.  So, if you do not use this deck in favor of something that will not be as successful, it would be against the spirit of Pokemon.  If you have a good deck like Durant that you think you can win with, you should use it.  Some people might whine and complain that it is not fair, but that is a problem that Nintendo should have to answer for because they printed the card, you are just taking every fair advantage that you can.  It would be silly not to run Durant just because other people don’t find the deck fun.

Another reason that I think that playing Durant is not dishonorable is because the deck is fun to play as an example of the legitimate game mechanic called “milling.”  Milling is a more obscure part of this game that doesn’t get used very often.  There are people, myself included, that love milling.  Good milling decks don’t come around too often, so when they do you have to jump aboard.  These people should not be disrespected just because they love to mill.  If you love to mill, you will love to play Durant, and what is wrong with that?

My final point on this topic is that Durant can help newer players grow to love the game.  Me and Pedro both agree that anyone would be insane to think that handing a new player Durant would be a good thing to do.  There are much better decks that can teach players the basics of the game.  The skills you learn while playing Durant are not as easily transferrable as those you learn by playing other decks.  But, if a beginner does play Durant on a limited basis, it could be a good thing for them.

If a beginner does well with a Durant deck, they will get a rush of excitement from doing well in a  tournament.  Even if they decide to put down the Durant deck, that one good experience they had with the deck could hook them for life and encourage them to become better players.  One good experience with a Durant deck can encourage a young player to become a player for life.  And, it is always a good thing to have more people in the game.


Well Pedro, I think we beat this dead horse pretty hard, let’s just end it now.

Sounds good.  We would like to remind our readers to provide more points on this topic, and to vote on who you think won the debate. 

Well do you want to end this thing Pedro?

Sure.  Today we have a this day in history. Today in 1974 the Wonder Woman TV Show premiered.  Do you like the Wonder Woman Pikkdogs? 

Well sure, but I wouldn’t say that she was one of my favorite super heroes.  Did you know Pedro, that the person who invented Wonder Woman also was one of the founders of the lie detector test?

That is interesting. 

Yes, he was a very interesting person.  He thought that Comic Books were an important part of American Culture, and that women deserved better comic book heroes than they had.  He felt that women were very strong and very honorable.  He thought of this as he was cheating on his wife.  He actually lived a double life with two families.

Well, that is not very nice of him.  I thought you were going to point something else out about Wonder Woman.

What was that?

That Linda Carter had a great pair of boobs.

Do you think that I am that shallow?

No, I know that you are. 

I guess so, you are right, she does have a great pair of boobs.  Good Night everybody!


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