Archive for the ' Challenge' Category Challenge: Wrap-Up with Budget Engine

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

Well, I’ve discussed much of this already, but I thought I should give a bit of a wrap-up to finalize this season’s Challenge.  Yeah, I said “this season’s” implying that there may be others on the horizon.  That’s a bit of an open-ended question at the moment, but we can discuss that later.  Let’s first get to the positives and negatives of this challenge.


When I first dreamed up this crazy plan, I had several goals.  My overarching number one goal was to build community around this project.  Have we succeeded in that?  Well, I think it’s been mostly a unmet goal.  Looking at webserver statistics, it seems that the site is getting slightly more views now. I can’t be sure if that has anything to do with the challenge, just the fact that there have been more articles lately, or just the fact that City Championships were in full swing. Since I can’t undoubtedly attribute it to the challenge, I won’t.

What I originally hoped for (and expected) was that many people would come together and each donate maybe 4-8 cards.  I would have a bunch of random “junk” to sift through and build from.  Making a deck out of this card pool would be my challenge while donating would be yours.  Unfortunately, that didn’t happen really at all.  I had only 3 real donators, and, of them, I already had a friendship with 2.  That means that only 1 person decided to go out on a limb and risk sending me cards in order to be part of something greater.

My losses outweighed my wins.  I had a goal to go better than 50/50 win/loss in any given tournament.  I missed one tournament and had to drop one round early from another (both events I see as negatives in their own right).  I did go exactly 50/50 in 2 of 3 tourneys, but I never achieved greater than that.  This makes me feel as if I misused the generous donations and failed on my end of the bargain (even though it was always a goal and never a promise).
Continue reading " Challenge: Wrap-Up with Budget Engine" Challenge: Grand Finale

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

Special Delivery

Early this week, TAndrewT contacted me and asked me for my address. He had a package to send me. Well, things didn’t go well for TAndrewT and the postal service, and we thought that the package might not arrive before this week’s finaly City Championship tournament. Instead of sending the cards to me via snail mail (does anyone use that term, anymore?), TAndrewT sent me a list of cards on Friday. He swore that he’d hand-deliver them to me the next day, and since he was judging, I figured I could bank on him being there.

Click on the pic to the left if you want to see what he donated. I think he really wanted to see how the deck and I would do if things were taken to the next level. For the final Cities here, I think he wanted the challenge deck to be a real contender. Thanks to you donators, here’s the list I was able to run today.

Continue reading " Challenge: Grand Finale" Challenge: Decklist & Other Discussion

Monday, January 9th, 2012

I got some cards from Coolestman22 since the last tourney, so the list was a bit better than the previous run.

The additions were:

  • 1 Zekrom: Excellent damage output without the energy discard that all my other attackers have
  • 1 Thundurus: Second turn 80 damage and puts 1 energy in the discard
  • 1 Pokemon Communication: Gets my evolutions
  • 1 Great Ball: Maybe the best addition (gets Junk Armed a lot)
  • 1 Pokemon Circulator: I gets me out of certain situations, but is also annoying when you know Catcher is in format.
  • 1 Professor Juniper: Great draw supporter for this deck

Continue reading " Challenge: Decklist & Other Discussion" Challenge: Tourney #2 Report

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

I have to admit that I’ve been disappointed with the number of participants in the Challenge. When I first proposed it, people said that it might get low participation, but I didn’t expect it to be this low. I figured locals would chip in. I figured that some people would fine the idea oddly intriguing. I figured that, for the cost of a stamp, thinning your card pool of stuff you didn’t intend to play could be turned into entertainment. I guess I figured wrong.

Now, I’m not all sad or anything. In other ways, I’m very pleased with how things have turned out. I’m playing a deck that I otherwise never would have used in tourneys, and I’m having fun with it.

I’m happy with the cards that have been donated. There’s another area in which things have exceeded expectations. When I expected to be running a deck full of the best picks from random junk, I’m running a deck with 3 Primes, several popular trainers/supporters, some great dragons, and one of the most impactful Pokemon of the moment.

My goal was to build a community around this project, and in that I feel like I’ve failed. I’ve been thinking of ways I can continue with a similar experiment/project, though. Again, it’s not all bad, but it’s not what I aimed for. I have ideas for future targets, though.

My in-game goal was to go better than 50/50 in any tourney. Let’s get to the report.

Continue reading " Challenge: Tourney #2 Report" Challenge: Road Trip & Surprise

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Rapid City Road Trip

I have a bit of catching up to do here. I was out of town (and fairly busy) between Christmas and New Years. I’m back now, so I should update you on the happenings since the last installment.

We were in Rapid City, SD for vacation, because we have family there. We go there almost every year for Christmas. This time, there were 2 league times that occurred during our stay. I penciled in both, but I didn’t know if we’d have other family stuff going on.

If you have been reading here for quite a while, you may recall from my Alakazam/Chancey Report that Rapid City has some interesting formats that they attempt. The Pokemon scene there is quite different from other places I’ve played. It pretty much exists in its own little bubble. Adam, the league leader and one other guy named Ben seem to be the ones that really drive the scene.

Now, from what I’ve seen/heard, most leagues allow an unlimited card pool, but even then, most players play modified-legal cards. Yeah, if you want to play old cards, people won’t mind, but most will prefer to play against tourney decks. In Rapid City, it seems that they don’t care much about the modified format. Yeah, people like new cards, but they don’t want to dump their old stuff. Case in point, this time, there was a guy who’s “want” list contained a bunch of SP trainers. I had no problem trading them away, because I had no use for ’em.

Continue reading " Challenge: Road Trip & Surprise" Challenge: Addressing Weaknesses

Monday, December 19th, 2011

While yesterday’s tournament went better than expected, I am still left feeling that we’re lacking something. Actually, I must say that I was fairly pleased with how well the deck worked, but in some ways that just leaves me feeling like it could actually be a contender (probably not top tier) if given the chance. There are some glaring holes that need to be filled to make this a real threat.

Let’s go over the main weaknesses and discuss some ways they could be strengthened. Then I’ll list some specific cards I think would bring the deck to the next level. First, here’s the list I played.
Continue reading " Challenge: Addressing Weaknesses" Challenge: Tourney #1 Report

Sunday, December 18th, 2011

It’s the moment, I’m sure you’ve all been waiting for. The deck has finally made it’s public debut. This Sunday, we had a tourney at Outpost 2000 and Beyond. Masters had 5 rounds of Swiss, and here’s the story of how Eelektrik and Riachu got along.

Before the tourney got going, I needed to take care of 1 major issue. I still needed 4 Pokeball. I was able to get the donation I needed, so it was all systems go.

Round 1: vs Paige with Reshiram/Vulpix
I think I only ever saw Reshiram and Vulpix in this match, as she never got a supporter. She started out by burning my Pikachu with Vulpix’s Singe attack, which was annoying. Once I got Raichu, evolving healed the burn, and I started rolling. Unfortunately for her, I was able to easily KO Vulpix and she brought up a 2-energy Reshiram. I had to attack it, but I knew she’d get the return KO. I popped the Rocky Helmet down and attacked for 120. This meant that she could retreat and lose all her energy, pass (and then I would probably just KO Reshiram), or attack (which would KO her Reshiram). During this turn, I think she Communicationed for another Reshiram (just to keep herself in the game). She attacked giving us both a KO and promoting her Reshiram. I brought up Pikachu, and did a Tail Slap for 10 (even though I had Raichu in my hand). This meant that she couldn’t easily return KO with Outrage, and I could do 120 next turn. That’s what happened leaving her with a lone fire Victini, and I started the day…

Continue reading " Challenge: Tourney #1 Report" Challenge: Coolest Delivery

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

This will be just a quick post letting you guys know that I got a new donation in the mail today. Today Coolestman22’s envelope arrived. Here’s the contents.

3x Dual Ball
2x Professor Juniper
2x Professor Oak’s New Theory
2x Junk Arm
1x Max Potion
1x Thundurus

This is very exciting to me, because it gives the deck a “real deck” sort of feel. Junk Arm can really aid in getting those early energy discarded while obviously providing trainer options via reuse.

PONT and Juniper are probably the best draw supporters I could have asked for. Juniper may be a bit tricky in specific situations (like when I have a Eelektrik or Raichu in hand), but it nets the most cards while also potentially discarding energy. PONT is probably the best refresh supporter available, and now I have 4.

Continue reading " Challenge: Coolest Delivery" Challenge: Disappointment and Optimism

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

First off, I need to share some disappointing news. Our first City Championship is on Dec. 10th. I had this marked on the calendar and was rather excited to kick off this challenge business.

Well, I got a small bit of bad news when my daughter, Petra’s, hockey practice schedule was announced. Her 3rd practice of her first season is conflicting. While contemplating how I could work around this (drop early from Cities, have my wife take her to practice, etc), I received an email about her team pictures. This event starts at the same time as the City Championship. Now, this pretty much seals it. I have to take Petra to pictures and practice. You see, I’m also one of the coaches. I might get away with missing a practice, but I should be in the team picture.

On top of this, it’s a pretty bad move for me to ask my wife to take Petra to these events. She’s pregnant with our 4th daughter, and she’s having some issues that make it pretty bad for her to exert herself. Maybe she could sit through a practice, but I really don’t think she could deal with pictures, as it’s like chaos everywhere at those things.

I wouldn’t normally bring my personal life into the discussions here, but I feel like I’m letting people down. I don’t really know how many of you care what happens in this Challenge experiment, but I feel like I have committed to playing in all the local City tourneys. I don’t want to start it out like this, and I really don’t want people to think I’m skipping out because of the cards/deck or anything like that.

Continue reading " Challenge: Disappointment and Optimism" Challenge: First Donation Received

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

This will be a short post.  I don’t have a whole lot to say other than I received the first cards for the card pool.  If you’re following along, you may want to open up the Challenge page and take a look at the card pool as I just added the new list to the page.

Pikkdogs’ package was larger than expected.  (I assume Pedro would make some comment here, but I sent him on some meaningless errand to keep him out of my head.)  It contained the following cards.
Continue reading " Challenge: First Donation Received"