Your 2012-2013 Pokemon Calendar

by Pikkdogs ~ September 2nd, 2012.

A big hello to all you OHKOers out there.  I was trying to think of an idea for a different kind of article, and this popped into my head.  The image of Tawny Kitaen grinding on top of a car also came into my head, but that’s another story.  This idea is about a year preview, a look ahead to each thing that will be coming at us in the coming year.

This is the usual time that I introduce my extra-dimensional sidekick Pedro, however I have been unable to reach him since the last article.  So I guess we have to skip over this part.

So, first up in the 2012-2013 year after the release of Dragon’s Exalted is the Autumn Battle Road Season.  Before I get started I should mention that everything in this calendar is subject to change. I am just guessing on some of this stuff like the set releases.  But judging from the fact that i am a fat drunk guy, I probably made a lot of mistakes, so bare with me.

Autumn Battle Roads; Sept 1st-30th. 

As it always does, the season starts with Autumn Battle Roads.  Battle Roads are the smallest tournaments out there, think of them as small local tournaments.  Most people don’t travel more than an hour and a half for a BR.  They don’t carry that many Championship Points, so they aren’t very important in the grand scheme of things, but they are still my favorite tournament.

It seems like Pokemon is just made for the Fall, it feels great to play Pokemon with the leaves changing and the weather cooling down.  Even though the stakes are low, the tournament season is still very fun.

This year there are a lot of changes for Battle Roads.  There is no longer a top cut.  So in most cases you will just play rounds until there is just 1 undefeated, and then everybody can go home.  Since the tournaments are smaller, it will be nice to have a short day of Pokemon and then leave to watch Football.  It will feel bad to finish 2nd-4th and not get a chance to win, but this season is all about fun, not winning.  If you do want to win, you must think consistency.  You can’t count on getting lucky every time, try to find a deck that is consistent and try to win each game that you play, that is your only hope of winning.

So, that’s pretty much it for Battle Roads.  They are very fun tournaments that should be easy to get to.  So try to get as many as you can and you will have a great time.  If you have a Fall Regionals in your area, Fall Battle Roads serve as the introduction to the third most important tournament of the season.  Speaking of Fall Regionals…..

Fall Regionals: October 13th (Fort Wayne, In, Houston, Tx, Eastern Canada)

Regionals used to always happen in the Spring, now we get Regionals spread apart across three weekends.  I don’t really know if the spreading of Regionals across three weekends really makes a difference since most people don’t have more than one Regionals in their area, but there is not really too much of a downside.  The first will happen in the middle of October

If you got to one of these I really hope that you played in a lot of Battle Roads.  The Fall Battle Roads serves as the capstone for the Battle Roads season.  If you did really well at BRs and have a lot of knowledge of the format from the BRs, than you should do well at Fall Regionals.  The format for this Regionals is exactly the same as Fall Battle Roads, so if you want to do well at Regionals expect to hit a lot of Battle Roads.

Success at Regionals also involves a lot of strategy in picking your deck.  This tournament will have a large Top Cut, some places will see anywhere from a top 32 to a top 128.  So taking a deck that is all about consistency might not make as much sense as it did during Battle Roads.  Since you are looking at 7, 8, or even 9 rounds of Swiss, you can afford to lose a game or two.  So you can afford to tech out your deck a little more, or run a more risky deck.  This different format should cause more varied decks to be played then there were during Fall Battle Roads.  There should be more variations in decks, so Fall Regionals should be pretty fun.

Set Release of Boundaries Crossed (Equivalent of Freeze Bolt/Cold Flare)

Just before Thanksgiving comes upon us and we eat a lot of Turkey, the next set will come out.  It is expected to contain a lot of cards in the Japanese Freeze Bolt and Cold Flare sets. It will be called Boundaries Crossed, which sounds like what the title of a speech that police officers usually give me after I get arrested. I don’t really know why it’s called Boundaries Crossed, maybe Brock will finally take his woman chasing one step too far, who knows. Anyway, the Freeze Bolt and Cold Flare sets were really cool because they not only contained a lot of cool cards, but they contained some new game mechanics. 

The most notable game mechanic is the addition of ACE SPEC cards.  Since they have not been officially announced in the West, they are kind of mysterious, but we do know what the first ones are and what they do.  ACE SPEC cards are cards that are super powerful trainer cards.  You are limited to only one Ace Spec card in each deck.  There are currently 4 ACE SPEC cards.  The first one is Computer Search, which is like a Junk Arm that works on any card in your deck.  The next is Gold Potion.  Gold Potion works like a regular Potion, but it only works on your active Pokemon, and it heals 90 damage instead of 30.  The last two Ace Spec cards only work on Black Kyurem EX and White Kyurem EX.  Crystal Wall is a Tool Card that gives Black Kyurem EX 300 HP.  Crystal Edge is another Pokemon Tool Card that let’s White Kyurem EX do 50 more damage from each attack.  These cards are really powerful and will be great in most decks.

But this new set has more cards than just the ACE SPECs, it has a lot of cool cards.  Staying in the trainer arena, Warp Point gets a reprint with escape rope.  Bicycle is an item card that lets you draw until you have 4 cards into your hand.  Ether is a card that can help with energy acceleration.  Town Map let’s you flip your prize cards flip you.  And finally, Hugh is a supporter card that evens all hands at 5 cards each.

As far as new Pokemon, Vileplume has been getting hype for turning all weaknesses into X4.  Blastoise is like a repint of the Base Set one, but with updated HP and attacks.  We also get a new Charizard, it isn’t that good, but everybody loves Charizard.  There are a bunch of new EXs including Black Kyurem, White Kyurem, Celebi, Keldeo, Cresselia, and Landorus.

It is hard to know exactly how impactful this set will be, but it looks to be a great set.

City Championships: Nov. 17- Jan 6th

So now we got a new set, and City Championships are a whole new game.  We thought 180 HP Pokemon were bad, now we have 300 HP Giants running around.

City Championships are not really that much different from Battle Roads.  They are about the same size tournaments and they usually happen at the same location.  But, for some reason City Championships are very important in the scheme of Championship Points.  A lot of people really like Cities, but I really hate them.  I don’t really know why since they are very much like Battle Roads, but I guess it’s the timing.  Most Tournament Organizers seem to schedule Cities right next to Thanksgiving and Christmas, so it is pretty hard to attend all of the tournaments that you would like to.

Anyway, Cities are pretty must like BRs.  Expect, we think that they will still have Top Cut rounds.  Since the tournaments are still very small, consistency is still important, just not quite as important in a tournament without Top Cut.

It is pretty hard to imagine what the format will be like at this point.  I will assume that Black Kyurem EX will be a popular card, nobody can hate 300 HP, and the ability to do 200 damage in one attack does make White Kyurem EX pretty cool.  We don’t really know what exactly will happen, but we can imagine that Dragon Pokemon will be very important in Cities.  Perhaps you will be able to use Vileplume to use the Dragon weakness in your advantage.  Who knows exactly but will happen, but I can smell the rain (reign) of the Dragon Pokemon.

Winter Regionals: Jan 19th (Salem, Oregon)

Just like Fall Regionals were the capstone to the BR season, Winter Regionals are the capstone for the Cities season.  There is not much to say about Winter Regionals.  The format will be the same as in Cities, and the structure of the tournament is the same as in Fall Regionals.  Also the same is the fact that you can be a little more risky in Regionals than you could during Cities.  The tournament again will be huge, so do your best to do well and have fun.

Set Release of Black and White 8 (Equivalent of Plasma Gale).

We don’t know a lot about BW8 yet, but it is expected to contain a lot of Plasma Gale cards.  We also don’t even know a lot about Plasma Gale cards, but we do know some things.

We do know that this set will contain another new gimmick, Team Plasma Pokemon.  This is not the first time we have seen Pokemon that are owned by people.  The early days of the game saw Pokemon owned by gym leaders.  And most famously a couple years ago we had SP Pokemon, which were Pokemon that were owned  by people like Team Galactic and Elite Four members.  We will soon have more trainer owned Pokemon, though we do not really know what the exact mechanic will be.

We do know that Team Plasma won’t be in their name, but an indicator will  be directly under their name.  There will also be certain trainer cards that have Team Plasma in their name which work with other team plasma trainer cards, energy, and Pokemon.  This brings back disturbing memories of the Cyrus engine in the SP days.  Let’s hope that Pokemon has learned from their mistakes and that they don’t let Team Plasma cards be as powerful as the SP cards were.

Even though we don’t have scans of most of the cards, we do have some cards.  The first big card that we got a look at was Lugia EX.  Lugia has an Ability that lets you take one more prize card after you knock out a Pokemon.  It’s attack costs 4 energies and does 120 damage with a discard of one Plasma Energy.  We also have a Crobat that has an Ability that lets you draw one card, and has an attack like Crobat Prime had (the defending is poisoned and takes 4 damage between turns).  Another cool card that we have seen a scan of is Rotom, it has a “Boltergeist” attack that is like the attack of last format’s Mismagius and Gengar SF (20 damage times the number of trainers in your opponent’s hand).  The rest of the cards we have revealed have an Infernape and a Druddigon.

There are also a few trainers that were revealed.  One card that I like is Plasma Frigate.  It is a stadium card that gets rid of weaknesses for Pokemon that have Plasma Energy attached.  Colress Machine is an item card that lets you search your deck for a Plasma Energy and attach it to a Plasma Pokemon.  Colress is a supporter card that lets you shuffle your hand in your deck and draw an amount of cards equal to the amount of Pokemon in play, expect this card to get a lot of play.  The Plasma Energy card does not have any special effects, all it does is provide C energy.

State Championships: Mar 9th, 16th, and 23rd.

This is expected to be the first tournament after the release of BW8 (though these things have not been verified yet).  State Championships are big tournaments like Regionals, but are a little bit smaller attendance wise and not worth as many Championship points.  States are split up to three different weekends in march.  State tournaments are usually split up by date geographically, so you will at least have a shot to get to 2 or 3 states instead of just one.  I also like States because it is around the time of the NCAA basketball tournaments, and it is cool to think about brackets for Pokemon as the nation is talking about brackets for college basketball.

The strategy to winning this tournament is similar to the regionals.  It will be a big tournament probably 7 or 8 rounds.  Consistency will be important, but there will be some room to run a more risky build.

States is a fun tournament, just a little less serious than Regionals.  The tournament shouldn’t be as far from you as Regionals is, since it is in your state.  So just enjoy the day and be thankful that you don’t have to drive very far.

Spring Regionals (Western Canada, Madison, Wi)

I expect this will either be the first tournament since the release of BW9, or the release could come right after Spring Regionals.  The tips for winning these regionals is the same as the others.

Set Release of Black and White 9

I don’t know anything about this set, nobody does as far as I know.  Perhaps it will be the first Black and White 2 set because of the release of the video game. I expect some new game mechanics if so, and possible replacement of the EX Pokemon.  But, any kind of speculation is just that, speculation.  Nobody knows anything about this set.  So your guess is as good as mine.

Spring Battle Roads: May-June

Spring Regionals is like the red headed step child of Battle Roads.  Most people don’t respect Spring BRs.  Even Pokemon doesn’t really respect it, two years ago they used it as a testing ground for how the format will be for Nationals.  Most people don’t attend a lot of Spring Battle Roads because it is in the spring, and there are better things to do.  People are attending graduation parties and cookouts and stuff like that, they don’t really have the time or interest to play in as many Spring BRs as they do Cities or Fall BRs.

The claim to fame of this tournament is that it is the precursor to the National Championships and Worlds.  The format for Spring BRs is the same as what Nationals and Worlds will be, so if you are able to get to some Spring BRs you will have a leg up on the competition in the summer.

We do not know if there will be any new rule changes this year.  The fall BRs this year had no top cut, it is unlikely if this will change much for Spring Battle Roads.  Unless people get really made about no Top Cut in the fall, it is likely that the spring ones will also be sans-top cut.  The strategy for winning these BRs is same as the fall ones.

National Championships: June-July (more info to come)

To me National Championships is the capstone of the entire season. I know that Worlds is supposed to be the Super Bowl of Pokemon, but few people are invited to Worlds.  Nats is something that everybody can go to.  It is one of the most fun experiences that the game has to offer.  If you haven’t gone yet, plan to make a trip this year.

Where are you making the trip to?  I don’t know.  It is expected that U.S. Nationals will be back in Indianapolis, but it has not been announced as a sure thing.  Perhaps Pokemon will move it to another spot.  We do not know much about the location yet, but just make sure you go.

It is hard to give you tips for a tournament that is about a year away.  But, it will be a very very big tournament (the U.S. one will be anyway) so make sure you build your deck on that.  Make sure you have a balanced deck that is ready for everything, because you will see everything at Nationals.  You will see both meta and rogue decks played in high numbers.

World Championships:  August 9th-11th in Vancouver,  Canada. 

The final tournament of the season is actually one of the smallest non BR or City tournament of the year.   It does have the best players in it though.  And, even if you can’t make it to the tournament, Pokemon is expected to keep us updated by text and video updates online.  If you do make it there, there are some cool events like concerts and stuff like that.

The tournament this year will be held in Vancouver, which is in the magical land of Canada. Hopefully more people will be able to get to Vancouver than were able to make it to Hawaii this year.  But, it was in San Diego 2 years ago and they didn’t have great attendance there either.   Hopefully this year people will be drawn to Worlds because of Canadian things………like……uh….. maple syrup, Shania Twain, and hockey.

I have heard that Worlds is a fun event, but I have never been able to go.  I have heard that it is cool because you get to meet people from all over the world who enjoy the same game.  Like the Olympics, it brings people all over the world together in peace.  That is always a cool thing.  So if you are in the west coast of North America it would be cool to go and compete in worlds, but unless you do well at Nats it is hard to get to Worlds.

So that is all I know about the calendar year of Pokemon.  Just a note, there are also a couple European tournaments that take place during the year.  One of those is one that invites players from all over Europe.  Last year there were some Spanish players who flung their poo around, so that would be fun to see.  These tournaments are really only for serious European players, but I guess it would be cool for a North American player to go (if that’s even legal).  The only thing it does is that it gives us a look at a format and it tends to give us a hint at how the other tournaments that are next to it on the calendar will go.  Again, I must warn you that I guessed at the time of some of these events so it won’t be perfect, but it should be fairly correct.  Yet, I still don’t want ya to be disappointed if a couple events are switched around here and there.

So long and thanks for all the fish.


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