Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Deck Out goes global: Brazil

Brazil is a famous soccer country
Hey all The Deck Out followers!

Today is a time for another goes global entry. Today’s entry is about country named Brazil. I know all of you are familiar with the country and you know at least something about it. For example, a Brazilian player won World Championships in Juniors division last year! For me Brazil reminds me of very good soccer players and of course Samba. Lol, at the stereotypes.

Anyways, this entry isn’t about stereotypes but learning about the Pokémon TCG community of Brazil. It has experienced a lot of ups and downs during its journey but at the moment things are looking very good. So, let’s see what does the history and story of Brazil’s Pokémon TCG include!


Population: 192  million
The most famous living person: Ronaldinho/Many other football players
The most famous company: Petrobras (Petroleum and energy)
Currency: Real
Fun fact: Every Brazilian city has at least one soccer stadium

Local Player Profile and history of the TCG in Brazil

My source for this entry is 27 years old Brazilian Pokémon TCG player from Curitiba/PR – Brazil named Vitor Alexandre de Almeida. He has been playing this game since 2000, initially for fun leagues.  When Nintendo took over from WotC and begun running tournaments he started
to play more seriously.
He’s a pokemon professor too, but never really used it as a status or

IRL out of pokemon he’s a public official since 2006, has studied computer science from 2002 to 2006 and is graduating in Bachelor of Laws by June 2013. His graduation trip will be worlds 2013 with or without an

From 2004 to 2007 he has won many cities and states in Brazil, but he has never top cut in the National Championships.

In 2006 a junior player from his league won Nationals and went to Worlds, 2007
he won his invite by rankings and 2008 he was a National Champion once again. In 2007 Vitor was really close to get a ranking invitation and trip to worlds but his Nationals performance shattered that dream. However, his partner of cards won Nationals that year so it wasn't the season was success afterall.

In 2008 Vitor didn't play seriously, still sad for the 2007 loss. The game had grown player-wise but the local distributor messed up everything and Brazil had the worst format ever: HP-SW for nats. Prelude to dark times for poke-tcg community in Brazil. His partner won his invite for
worlds by rankings again.

In 2009 they had their last Nationals under Devir(Local Distributor) ruling the game. Vitor played Nationals for the last time too, just to see old friends once more. No invites for any of our league's  players.

In 2010 the game near died in Brazil, we had only States because one of our players somehow got the PTO status for a while.

In 2011 Copag took the game under their care from Devir, Portuguese sets were printed again, player base grew again and now there is hope once again. Brazil had an official season after that 2010 lost year. In fact, Gustavo Wada from Brazil won World Championships in the Juniors division of Worlds 2011.

2012 season looks amazing so far for Brazil but Vitor’s plan is to play in Worlds 2013 because Havaii is too expensive.

In addition to history: Historically perfectly  the first Brazilian "Nationals" was held in 2002 with only players from São Paulo city, and won by Carlos Rocha with a Kabutops/Scizor deck. Vitor uses word "Nationals" because he doesn’t personally  count a tournament with only people from one city as a National Championship (which I agree with by the way but the situation was almost the same in Finland in 2004), but he understands the intentions and troubles that Devir had back in 2002 to do anything bigger than a league outside São Paulo with WotC's support.


As for the atmosphere in tournaments: The majority of them are held in 3 states: Paraná (where Vitor lives), Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, the last one being in the middle of the other two and having the larger player base. That’s also where Nationals are held. Rio Grande do Sul also has tournaments but it's far from the other 3 and not so many outsiders go there to play. Vitor has gone there to play twice but they seem to be extremely home protecting and biased to rule in the favor of the player of their league when it facing an stranger, which sucks a lot in Vitor’s opinion. Especially when it comes to ruling and you know the rules and that you’re right. In the other 3 States it seems to be friendlier yet competitive - everyone
knows each other after years playing Nationals over and over. The competitive scene always has some rivalry but it's a friendly one.
At least in Curitiba they share their cards with everyone they know from our league and even with people from other cities when they ask us something. It seems to be the same in the other places too with few exceptions. At the moment, they are starting a new way of collecting cards in our league (itiban), buying them collectively in high quantities so everyone has a competitive deck. They are 2 years out from Nationals and they want to comeback in high style - every player having a tier 1 deck is a very nice starting point.

Competitive playing and tournament organizing

Brazil players read Pokebeach, Pokegym, Sixprizes and most of them hopefully read The Deck Out as well! The only local blog Brazil has is poke-paradise ( They also use Orkut forums and Facebook groups to keep contact with each other too.

For years people tried being original in deck building with few running what was winning outside, now it changed a little, with creativity going for personal techs inside the metagame decks. In 2007 Vitor built a Stantler/Scizor ex deck and spared it to my partner of cards who managed to win Nationals with it and that has been the most successful original Vitor has built.

Brazil has only one tournament organizer, Camila Bastos. Alessandro Garritano was for a while in 2010 but he lost this status quickly later, Vitor doesn’t know why. Naturally there’s a lack of organizers, only one person to manage the game in a country as big as Brazil is just ridiculous. The Local Distributor of Brazil is Copag ( at the moment.

Vitor thinks that the Brazil players’ level is high enough to compete in the World Championships (after all they have a World Champion!). The only problem is how to get Brazil players to Worlds because it’s expensive.

Player base

All leagues are official, according to our PTO Camila Bastos Brazil now has between 800 and 1000 players who at least registered once in any of the seasons in the BW league, which should give Brazil more City Championships next year. Not all of these players attend tournaments, at least in his league (Itiban comic shop) the younger players still don’t.

Their Autumn Battle Road (last October) had 15 players in Masters (could be 22 if everyone Vitor knows could have played that day) and 7 in SR and JR combined. Last season they had no City Championships and no Battle Roads, and he played only in two States, one of them had 14 players in masters and the other one 24. The other two states had among 20 players each too. Nationals have been getting 40-50 players average every year.

The player base varies year by year, it had been huge in the years of 2006 and 2007 but then declined, and it’s closely related to what Devir (the former LD) has done to the game. Without a local distributor really working, it's hard to keep people motivated. HP-SW was the worst format ever for Nationals, then they didn’t even have Nationals in Brazil everyone quitted the game after that.  However, now with Copag and Portuguese sets the Brazil player base is growing one again. The growth is slow but since Brazil is such a huge country it has a great chance to grow a lot more.

As for the age groups, the majority is in masters now. Seniors and Juniors aren't as big as they where before, but they are growing. Vitor isn’t fully confident about the percentages but he estimates that the player base is divided like this:

Masters: 70%
Seniors: 20%
Juniors: 10%

I think this is becoming as a trend everywhere in the world of Pokémon TCG.

As for the best players of Brazil, that's hard to say. In the early years of OP São Paulo had the majority of players and tourneys and the Hiratsuka brothers won 2004 (Gardevoir Magnezone Delcatty) and 2005 (Dragtrode). In 2006 Nats was RS-LM.  Fabio Lona from Campinas won with metanite, 2007 - it was DX-PK. Allan Apter from Curitiba won with Stantler Scizor ex (super stantler). In 2008 was HP-SW and Jesus (yes his name is Jesus) won with Honchkrow. In 2009 was DP- RR and won by Leonardo Gonçalves with Mothergengar. In 2010 There were no Nationals in Brazil and 2011 Rafael Marques won with Luxchomp in MD-AR format.

This shows that Brazil has no repeating winners, and their Nationals are rarely won by someone who placed well during the season in Cities and States. Years 2004, 2005 were exceptions because those players won regularly. However in other seasons someone, who hasn’t won anything before comes and takes the National Champion title. That’s the way it goes in Brazil.

Players who are known in Brazil in Masters group are,  Allan Apter, Fabio Kletlinguer, Felipe Ponce, Frederico Elbony, Giorgio Locatelli, Vinicius LaPadula and Vitor.

There are also very good players in Brazil, who have stopped playing: Alex Silva, Guilherme Mattos. In Seniors we have Gustavo Wada who won worlds in Juniors but in the Battle Road he ended in top4. Only the future will tell if he can make up for his title in this new age group. Another player who has stopped is Renan Bigarelli, two time National Champion in Juniors, now with age to be in seniors. We’ll see if those players come back in the future when Brazil is back on track with Pokémon TCG.


Brazil’s TCG community is one of those communities that have experienced a lot during its journey. Most countries’ players are familiar how much damage a horrible Local Distributor can do to the game. I’m one of them.  Thankfully the things are now looking good in Brazil and maybe in the future we’ll see more and more Brazil players in the World Championships. Last year’s winning of the Juniors’ division was a great beginning! I sincerely hope a great future for the Pokémon TCG community of Brazil.

Thanks for reading and feel free to leave any comments!

A legal note: The things written in this article don’t necessarily present the official opinion of The Deck Out. 

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  1. Actually, the 2011 winner was Rafael Marques, not "Branco" as mentioned.

  2. Brazil had 7 citys ... with a Maximum of 29 players from all categories. Most whit less than 20 people and playing without sleeves. Greetings from Argentina!

    (its funny beacouse its true :P)

  3. you are close to argentina! come of the best and famous player is javier favili this is their webpage he try to expand the game to all over argentina whit sponsors and no money retribution...thats passion!

  4. The best players of Argentina are Diego Cassiraga and Agustin Pugliese...

    Im ok and only do my part.

    Javier F.

  5. For the guy who is trying to demish brazilian player base should take a look at rankings and see that player base (masters) is almost twice as argentina (which had a stable LD over the years)

    133 registered ranked in argentina
    240 registered ranked in Brazil

    For a country which faced so many problems with (not whit like you said) LD over the last years, so many ups and downs i can clearly say that game is much stronger in Brazil.
    Not forgetting that Brazil has much more market for Organized Play as economical situation and currency is way stronger over argentina.

    My advice: stop playing the jerk here and recognize yourself that Brazil is a top competing country, afterall we have the first world champion in latin america.

  6. I was so pleased when the Brazilian kid won Worlds. Brazil is such a cool country (mainly basing that comment on football).

    Loving this global series, really interesting so far.

    ~baby mario

  7. If any Argentinian player wants to add Argentina to the global series, please e-mail me to: and answer my questions about your country! No point of arguing things only here in the comments.

    I've played against many Argentinian players in the World Championships(both Cassiraga and Pugliese - interestingly I won both of them) and know that they have a lot of good players as well.

    Thanks everyone for the comments. I'm glad you enjoy this series! I'm also very happy to see this discussion here about these entries.

  8. It's funny how Argentinians feel touched when Brazil is mentioned xD guys, we all are Latin americans, don't fight, peace and love :D
    I'm Argentinian too, but i don't like that country rivality thing, I'm a pacifist guy (?)

    Off topic: Congrats for the blog Esa! I really enjoy reading it n.n

    BTW, I post like anonymous because I'm too lazy for create an account or whatever I need to post with my name, but I'm Patricio Walsh, 2010-2011 season's national champion(?)

    Greetings form Argentina! and again, I'm sorry for my english xD I know that it's not good u.u

  9. for the millionth time.. its called football and not soccer -.-

  10. Anonymous1: Thanks a lot!

    Anonymous2: This blog has so many U.S. readers that I call it soccer not football. Everyone understands it when I call it soccer but calling it football could cause confusion.

  11. Brazil have a lot of playes off a oficial leagues.
    Because the oficial supplier dont provide tournaments in small (less $$) states.

  12. "them hopefully read The Deck Out as well!" haha deckout is reference ;D ignore these Argentinians .. Ponce and others when competing city champs in Argentina all win ..hihi


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