Thursday, December 15, 2011

Power Player interview: Miska Saari

Hello all The Deck Out followers!

Today I'm doing something completely new for me so I hope you give your opinions and thoughts how to improve my interviews. For this entry, I have interviewed the first European World Champion of Pokémon TCG – Miska Saari. Miska is also one of the only players ever to be in top4 of World Championships two times. He is also a one-time National Champion of Finland.

Miska is also a very good friend of mine and me and my big brother practically taught him how to play this game. He is one of the players I consider real tournament players. When playing in league he doesn't seem like a pro player but ones he concentrates once and for all he is a world-class player able to win any tournament in the world.

That's for the introduction part, now for the facts and questions.

Name: Miska Saari
Age: 17
Active Since: 2005-
Scholarships won: $14500

Best Achievements:
- 1st World Championships 2006 Seniors (Lunatone/Solrock/Girafarig)
- Top8 World Championships 2007 Seniors (Vaporeon ex/Jirachi ex/Rayquaza ex d/Mew ex(LM)/Mew ex(HP))
- 1st National Championships 2009 Seniors (Gardevoir/Gallade/Weavile)
- Top4 World Championships 2009 Seniors (Luxray/Infernape)
- Top16 World Championships 2011 Masters (Reshiram/Typhlosion)

You have a very impressive tournament history, do you prepare for bigger tournaments (e.g. Worlds and Nats) differently than to other tournaments?

- I always try to predict the metagame and try to play decks that are good against the dominating decks. LunaRock was one of the deck choices that was fully against the metagame. I played only against LBS deck from top32 until I met a Flariados deck in the finals. I also try to think carefully all my teches for my Worlds deck and scout the metagame in the Grinder to get-to-know the probable metagame of the World Championships. I might make last minute changes to my decks before Worlds.

We also have the annual Miska-camp in the summer, where a lot of Worlds and non-Worlds Finnish competitors get to together to play Pokémon, to sauna, to swim, to play Dominion and other card games. Miska-camp lasts for 3 days and we usually play Pokémon outside in the sunshine. Miska-camp has been a tradition for 5-years now and hopefully the tradition will stay strong in the upcoming years.

What do you consider as your most important game in your Pokémon TCG history?

This is a very difficult question. Probably the top16 game in the World Championships 2009. In that game I really felt like I didn't do a single mistake and I played perfectly. When I won Worlds in 2006 I felt like I wasn't a near perfect player and made a lot of mistakes.

Did the winning of the World Championships change your attitude towards the game?

Not really. For a moment I thought too much of myself but soon my friends brought me down to earth. After that I've only tried to develop my playing skills.

What has kept you playing Pokémon for already 7 years? 

- This is a very easy question: friends and the community. The Spirit of the Game is very high in the Finnish Pokémon TCG community and people are always kind to each other. Most of my friends are from the Pokémon TCG community.

Which Pokémon TCG-related sites do you read the most? because they have all the scans from the new sets of Japan and of course The Deck Out.  

What is your favorite format of the Pokémon TCG?

It's either DX-on or the infamous MD-on. DX-on was one of the most innovative formats of all time. MD-on was a bit stale deck-wise but I think the skill amount, which was required to do well in the tournaments was very high in the LuxChomp-era.  

What is your favorite deck of all time and what is your favorite deck of this format? 

- 6-corners is my favorite deck of this season. It has unlimited possibilites and tech options and it can win any deck if yoy play perfectly and have right teches against the metagame. It's also fun to play.

When it comes to the all-time favorite deck, I have to go with Mynx. It's just something unique, extremely fun and difficult to play and irritating to play against at the same time. It's a perfect deck.

Choose one, pick one! 

Reshiram vs. Zekrom - Zekrom
Donk vs. Win-on-time –
Consistency vs. Tech -
Pidgeot vs. Magcargo -
EX vs. Prime -
Worlds vs. Nats -
Pow! Hand Extension vs. Pokémon Catcher –
Winning vs. Playing -

Any last words for The Deck Out's readers?

If you see me in any tournament, feel free to come to me and say hi!

That's the end of my first interview ever. Please let me know what you thought about the interview in whole and about the structure of the interview. Also, if you have any suggestions or wishes for the upcoming interviews, feel free to suggest anything. I'm open for all the suggestions you make!

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment.


  1. Miska FTW! I really like this article series. : )

  2. This was really good, I think you should do your interviews like this for the rest of the series but change up the questions here and there

  3. Really informative and structured. Nice one once again Esa. Keep it up. :D

  4. Thanks for comments everyone! I know interviews don't gather usually a lot of comments but I still hope you enjoy reading them. I'll keep the main formula the same and get more internationally well-known people to my interviews.

  5. Will you let us know what players you will be interviewing?

  6. Anonymous: Yeah, I'll let you guys know when I have some people in mind.

  7. Excellent interview, just a small question, haven't other players such as Ross, Jason, and Yamato all T4 Worlds at least 2 years as well?

  8. Anonymous - Read it carefully - "is one of the only players"

  9. Great article! Has Miska something to do with the pro skateboarder Arto Saari?

  10. Anonymous: Haha, I once asked that myself as well but according to Miska he is not related to him in any way :D


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