Friday, June 28, 2013

10 years of competitive TCG: The failed experiment of PUI

Hello everyone!

Today I’m doing my most controversial entry of the 10-years of competitive TCG –series.

One of my favorite cards EVER.
However, I’ll leave all the names and too sensitive information out of this entry to avoid as much controversy as possible. Today, I’ll be discussing my -and only - my point of view about the 2006-2007 season and you’ll see that the season was not only the worst and most controversial out of all the seasons in the history of this game, but also the season when I was probably at the top of my game.

I have had a decent amount of controversy in my blog the previous weeks, so I wanted to just get this out of the way as soon as possible, so I don’t have to concentrate on controversy as The Deck Out is going to start a new chapter in its existence VERY soon (what might that mean??). The 2006-2007 season is also the season I am most disappointed of and it’s good to notice that all the things in this entry are only my own opinions – not absolute facts. I also hope to hear from the players that played this season that how YOU experienced the season and did you encounter the things I encountered during the season.

Anyways, before reading this, you MUST read the previous years in order to know how I ended up here and what has affected my attitude. Click below to read the previous parts.

- 2004
- 2005
- 2006

A quick recap of where we are now. It’s autumn 2006. I am 15-years old and just failed in the World Championships in my first year in Masters by going 3-5 with the same deck as Jason K used to win Worlds. I was hungry for success since over 300 hours of playtesting (and my whole summer had gone in vain). Miska Saari had also just become the first non-US or Japanese World Champion. Pokémon TCG is booming in Finland thanks to our great Local Distributor and OP Admin, the game is growing all the time. The final needed boost was Miska’s World Championships victory, which blew up the attendance in leagues all around Finland. On the other hand, I had almost succeeded in destroying the Hyvinkää league and we only had 7 attendees per week. However, my big brother finally came back from Germany and was ready to save our league. Will he succeed and what makes this season the most controversial ever?

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Pre-Nationals "Underground" article

Klinlang won't repeat its last-year success.
An interesting fact before you get going to read this 11,000 word article behemoth. This article should have been an Underground article (with a better grammar of course). I have put tens of hours of time for this article, so I hope you enjoy it and that it's worth your time! It really should be since most people would pay to read this.


Last  year when I did this article for the Underground for the first time, I said Klinklang had a chance to win the whole tournament. To be honest, I also recommended that you shouldn’t play Klinklang in the tournament, because I didn’t believe that a Klinklang player could dodge all the Hammertimes in the U.S. Nationals. About that I was dead wrong, because Hammertime was a lot less popular in the U.S. than in Europe (even though over 50% of my blog’s readers are from the U.S.)

Even though I wasn’t a Klinklang fan due to Hammertime gaining popularity all over the world last year, I needed to admit the facts – Klinklang was a real tier1 contender last year. Even though each person may favor one deck over another and from time to time I may have very strong opinions (and phrase them incorrectly), for me the job of Pre-Nationals article is to provide an objective point of view and analysis about the metagame. That is my mission today - provide a clear and balanced picture of the metagame I expect for the U.S. Nationals. Along the 10-years of playing I’ve become very familiar at predicting the metagame and it’s one of the skills that can only be developed with experience and time. Even though I live in Finland, I have kept a very close eye on the U.S. Nationals ever since 2006, so I’m pretty familiar of predicting the U.S. metagame.

However, if you are looking for my personal (and maybe biased) opinions, you won’t be disappointed either way. At the end of the article, I’ll list my opinions of top3 techs AND decks for the U.S. Nationals and some last minute gameplay tips for tournament play in the current format. Last time the deck, I placed at the top of my list didn’t win Nationals, but Worlds! That’s why I like to think my opinions are pretty accurate (if opinions can be considered accurate) and should at least provide some serious food for thought.   

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Featured Writer: Anna Schipper and the Nationals winning Eelektrik!

The perfect metagame counter
Hi everyone!

Today, I’m glad I can offer you something very innovative and at the same time competitive content. I asked the just-crowned National Champion of the Netherlands – Anna Schipper if I could write an article about her Nationals winning deck. Well, instead of me writing the article, she offered to write the article by herself! And to be honest, I think it’s better that way. She is the expert with her deck and I wouldn’t have been able to give you as thorough analysis of the deck as she can.

Something about the quality of the deck tells the fact that I was very interested in it even though it was an Eelektrik variant. As you may know, I have dreaded Eelektrik as long as it has been available in the metagame, but even I could imagine myself playing this deck. It only means the deck is top-notch and that you would be fool to not test it.

Also, even though we live in different countries, I have played against Anna TWICE in the Worlds Championships, so I know how good player she really is. Our Worlds matches are tied 1-1. Too bad that we can't face each other this year as Anna isn't going to Worlds! Anyways, I let Anna take it from here. Enjoy the article!    

Monday, June 17, 2013

Comic Relief

Hello everyone!

Today I have something COMPLETELY different for you. And this time it's nothing controversial either! (boring right?) Thanks for Juho Hautala for this awesome comic strip masterpiece. I hope this comic series will become a permanent part of my blog.

Also, I'm still debating whether I am going to Worlds or not. It's a tough decision since not so many Finnish players are going to Worlds this year and it would be very boring without friends to hang out with.

I do have some very good news as well. There is a VERY high-quality quest writer coming this week as well (a fresh National Champion with the winning deck!), so look forward to it.

The article-level just keeps on developing as the season's climax is almost here and as I got kicked out from the Underground, you will be in special treat next week. I already finished my Underground article and since I won't be posting it to the Underground, it will be released in my blog. An 11,000 word article-behemoth discussing all the metagame decks for the U.S. Nationals and Worlds including some very nice game-play tips! It will be released next Monday, so keep a close eye on my blog and you will get a rare glimpse on what Underground articles usually look like.

Anyways, for now, enjoy the comic strip!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Plasma list comparison and analysis

Hello everyone!

Today I’ll be doing something different than usually. I take a look at TWO Plasma lists. Why I am

going to do this? Because I want to do something different from time to time and I believe this helps me to straighten my thoughts about my Nationals' deck choice.

2 Kyurems is the bare minimum for Plasma lists

I’ll analyze both lists piece-by-piece and how I see them. I'll also take a look at the pros and cons of both decks. I hope this will help you to build an even better Plasma list of your own and that you will learn something about the article and my insight on Plasma decks. It's been a good while since I made my last Plasma article, so I think it's about a time to make an up-to-date version of Plasma article.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Not a 7-time National Champions' report!

Hello everyone!

So, Nationals didn’t go quite as expected, but I’m not too disappointed about it since I was very stressed about it for a long time. Winning Nationals 6 times really puts some pressure on, lol. For a long time I was going to play a very similar Plasma list, which Tord Reklev used to get into the top2 in Norwegian Nationals, but as I found myself drawing dead with Plasma over and over again, no matter how much I put draw and consistency, there I decided to play with Accelgor/Gothitelle.
As you know, I’m a huge fan of lock decks and tested Accelgor for a long time before it surfaced in Norwegian Nationals. Anyways, this won’t be too long of an article, because not much didn’t really happen in the tournament. Let’s start with my Nationals list.

Friday, June 7, 2013

2 days to National Championships panic!

Hello everyone!

As you may remember, I have my own Nationals this weekend! They are on Sunday, so just few days left! To
Time to get serious!
be honest, I’m very insecure about my Nationals this year due to a simple fact – I haven’t won a single tournament this year! It has never happened to me before, so it’s a whole new situation for me. Mainly, I devote mu unsuccessful season for bad luck, but also, because I have from time to time gone to a tournament unprepared. However, to Nationals I’m not going unprepared! I have tested a lot of different decks and match-ups and believe that I have found the crown jewel among the tested decks.

If you are interested on how I’m doing at get the news if I was able to get my 7th(!) National Championships –title before anyone else, remember to follow me on Facebook or Twitter, where I’ll update my results from the tournament and other big tournaments like Worlds and ECC as well!

Today I don’t really have any kind of topic. I just wanted to let my thoughts out of my system before Nationals and that’s one of the positive sides of having you own blog, you can write there whenever you feel like it! But don’t worry, all the musings in this article, is related to metagame, decks and competitive playing.

Monday, June 3, 2013

10 years of competitive Pokémon TCG: The World Champion Rises

Hello everyone!

I feel like I have already written a LOT about my history in Pokémon TCG, but heck, I’m not even 1/3 way through! Writing these entries really make me think about how long I have really been
Back in the day this card was the BCIF.
playing Pokémon TCG and how big part of my life has it always been. Even though it’s “just” a trading card game!

Anyways, as always, before going reading this entry, remember to read the previous ones, or otherwise you will be missing out some key things in this entry as well. You can find the previous parts of this series from the links below.

- 2004
- 2005

Before going to the next season, let’s get a quick recap where I’m at now. It’s autumn 2005 and I’m 14-years old. I just came back from Worlds with a top32 placement by losing bitterly to bad luck and misplaying. Winds of changes are coming to Pokémon TCG scene of Finland as Marko U. is taking over as the Admin of Pokémon TCG and Finland is just about to get a bunch of new leagues and its own Pokémon TCG forum. So, what’s next?