Tuesday, August 27, 2013

It's time to move on

Hats off to the readers.
Hello everyone!

It’s sad, but true. It’s time to move on. And I never thought that moving on even from a serious relationship would be this difficult, but after all, I believe that every blogger and blog share a very serious relationship. Otherwise the blog wouldn't be very interesting for the readers. All the nice people I was able to meet at Worlds this year made this decision even more heart-breaking, but in the end I do what I gotta do.

TheDeckOut has been online for almost exactly two years now and it has been an unbelievable project for me and a lot of work. I have learned a lot, not only about the English grammar, but also about Pokémon TCG and the community all over the world. I wouldn’t change anything that I have experienced with The Deck Out. I have also had the priviledge to talk and meet with a bunch of great people all over the world.

However, all good things come to an end and now it’s the time for The Deck Out to make room for other Pokémoni TCG fan sites and blogs. If you want to know why, there are several reasons for it.

Finnish Pokémon TCG scene

I have said many times in my blog that the Finnish Pokémon scene is dying. This is an undeniable fact. It's also the biggest reason why I have struggled to continue with my blog the whole last season and THE biggest reason why it's time to stop writing to The Deck Out. After moving to new city, I haven't had anyone to play Pokémon with, so competitive playing has been almost an impossibility for me. That's probably one of the biggest reasons why I had a mediocre last season as well.

People often ask me, why I don’t start promoting the game and establish a league etc. to grow the game. I have been building the Finnish Pokémon TCG scene from the rock bottom and I have really given my all to this game and the Finnish players. You could say that I have ran out of fuel. There is nothing more I can offer to the Finnish Pokémon TCG scene personally and it’s time for new forces to step in and take responsibility, if they ever want to grow the game in Finland. Unfortunately I believe that there is no “new wave” coming in the Finnish Pokémon TCG and we will be back with 20-people Nationals next year. I sincerely hope I am wrong, but I doubt it since Matti Kettunen who has been organizing all the tournaments the past years (and loaned me all the cards I have needed), has quit the game as well. When you have that few players around and almost no tournament organizers, you don't really get any competitive or fun feeling from playing and my blog's content would be full of theorymon, which wouldn't help anyone. But that will remain to be seen.

2) The spark is gone

To be honest, after experiencing the greatest seasons of Pokémon TCG (in my opinion seasons 2005-2008), I just don’t get the excitement I used to get from this game. Also, when looking at the future cards, it seems that Pokémon has no intention to stop releasing Basic EXs that will dominate the metagame. However, there just might be light in the end of the tunnel if we look at the "new alternative format", which will start after 2014 season. On the other hand, they decided to reprint Pokémon Catcher in Plasma Blast so...maybe it's a good time to take a break from playing after all as they have no intentions of making stage2 Pokémon playable in a while.

On the other hand, it just may be that I have “grown out” from the game. I remember the times when I could easily play 8 hours a day and was still eager to play more and more. Nowadays I don’t usually even want to play more than 5 games in a row, because I quickly get frustrated for various reasons. I don't really know why, but all I know is that the spark that once was there, doesn’t exist anymore.

3) Time, writing and life

Every single time a featured writer writes a single article in my blog, they always say “whoa, that was a lot of work; I can’t comprehend how you can write an article every week!” During the 2-year span I often asked this from myself – how did I have the time and energy to write those articles AND Underground articles on top of that? I have no idea, but I’m proud that I was able to do it. Now, the “real” life takes more and more time from my time, so I just don’t have enough time to write entries that would benefit anyone. I also was very active during this summer and thanks to that the next years I'm more than busy with 2 different schools, working part-time during school and writing for a professional magazine. I'm surprised if I have time to even play Pokémon anymore! I can't give up writing, because I love it, but writing a Pokémon TCG blog is out of question - at least for now.


I’ll be honest. Writing is the thing I enjoy the most in my life (alongside good music) and I can’t live without it. However, too much is too much and that’s why I can’t concentrate on all the things in my life at the same time. I had to stop doing something and unfortunately it’s the blog I need to stop writing when I look at the priorities of my life.

I believe I have been able to help a lot more people than I originally thought I could help with my blog. I receive e-mails daily and I have personally answered over 1000 e-mails from people all over the world (I still have almost all of them saved in my e-mail folder) asking for advice or help during the past two years. Even though I couldn’t always answer all the e-mails I got, I have tried to answer them as many of them as I could. And every single time I was able meet new people in big tournaments and they thanked me for my blog or asked for an autograph, I really felt like I had done something that really mattered. Thank you for acknowledging my work.

With the help of Ukinin-san I have also been able to close the gap between Japan and the rest of the Pokémon TCG world and I’m proud of that and hugely grateful for Ukinin-san for the possibility. I’m sure there are people who will continue my work when it comes to Japan, because all things Japan always gather a lot of attention and for example RestlessBob has already for a while done great coverage of Japanese tournaments at Pokegym.

When I first started my blog, I didn’t believe anyone would be interested in puny Finnish players’ opinions about the game, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. The Deck Out has grown more than I could ever have imagined and I owe it all to you and only to you.

I also like to believe that my blog’s popularity encouraged other people to establish their own Pokémon TCG blogs as well, because a lot of Pokémon TCG blogs have been established after The Deck Out was established two years ago. After all, if my horribly written blog could be popular, then any other blog could be popular as well! Before ending this final entry, I would like to give a shout out to every fully competitive Pokémon TCG site I know of and I think is worth checking out. I think all of these sites are worth following and by promoting them you can help to grow the game. Maybe you and your friends could establish your own blog as well! There is still space in the Pokémon TCG
blogsphere for (how do I put it nicely...hmm) "personal" blogs.

Celadon City Gym

The Top Cut

The Charizard Lounge

Flip or Die

Ace Trainer





One Hit KO


TCG with hats

(Not for children)

On the Bubble (Not for children)

Let me know if missed something, because this entry will be the first thing that people see, when they visit The Deck Out, so the more there are links to quality competitive Pokémon TCG sites, the better.

And just when you thought you could get rid of me completely, I would like to take you back to one very important point of this entry - I love writing! And since Pokémon TCG will have a place in my heart as long as the game exists (and probably even after that as I have played it over 50% of my lifetime!), I probably can’t ever stop writing Pokémon TCG articles. It may be once a year or twice year, or maybe even 5 times a year, but I will keep on writing. However, the fact is that I won’t publish enough material to support The Deck Out, so it’s probably more prudent for me to write to a site that publishes material more often. I don't know, which site I will write in the future, but I'm sure I can arrange something. All suggestions on which site you would like me to write are more than welcome!

I hope you have enjoyed The Deck Out as long as you have been reading it and that it has been a useful or at least entertaining blog for you!

There were a lot of things I really would have still liked to promote with my blog (e.g. the appreciation of Juniors and Seniors in the game). Remember that even though we might live on other continents and have huge age differences, Pokémon TCG is something that binds us all together. In the end, it’s our common language. 

I want to thank all of you whether you have read, commented, argued, loved, hated, defended or followed The Deck Out! It was an experience like no other and it wouldn't have been nothing without you.

Thank you.

Sincerely yours,

Esa Juntunen



  1. Thats so sad. We will miss you Esa, good luck

    1. Visit on youtube: playmat tcg
      very good videos

  2. Nooooooooooooo :(

    It was my 2nd most visited poké-website after 6p since more than one year :(

    Anyway, no one can quit Pokémon TCG that easily ;) Maybe you just need a short break.

    The format is crap since Next Destinies. I am not very motivated too for this season, but I have some hope with Pokémon X and Pokémon Y...

    It's sad :( farewell

    1. TheDangerous_DarkraiAugust 27, 2013 at 7:23 PM

      I just can agree with that. Thanks for all your job Esa, and i hope to see you (maybe? :D) back soon

  3. can you please finish the ten years of pokemon?

    1. i second that they were the best articles that i have read

  4. Thank you so much for writting this blog! This is and will be my favorite PTCG blog ever! since i Start playing again Pokemon TCG. I hope to see you again here or in other blogs writting! See you next! Time! Saludos desde México. Aquí también te leemos.

  5. Thank you. Really, thank you so much, i think, you´re not really aware what you achieved with your blog, you helped people, gave them advice and most of all, you loved the tcg with all your heart. You can be proud of yourself and i really wish you a successful future as a writer. thanks (:

  6. I'm going to miss the deck out :( it was a really good place for PTCG info. Thanks for everything Esa

  7. Thanks you for all your hard work, I will miss this blog, I just begin with Pokemon TCG in the past 2 years and this was my first source of information.

    In my country there is not official league (Ecuador) i just played for fun with my friends but I believe that without official tournaments it will be my chance to leave the game too.

    Best regards from south America


  9. Good luck Esa ^^
    TheDeckOut has been my favourite blog, I've read all your articles and you deserve all the respect. Best regards from Spain
    PD: I wanted to get one autograph from you in the ECC, but I see it will be impossible :(

  10. Damn Dude, your departure sucks, hope once every gets situated, that "spark" returns and you can keep the "poke-dream" alive. Best of luck in your daily ventures, all the success.

    Victor =)

  11. Aika paljon tätä tuli luettua, joten:
    Hyvä työ Esa!

  12. I still hope, dream and pray you make a new blog next year and tell that this is all a bad joke :(
    But I know it's not true....
    I do hope you will finish your 10 years of competitive Pokémon TCG some day I sure somehow you can find time to complete it. Even if it takes a year or more..
    I will miss you!
    I never forget our meeting and me trying to meet you at the ECC this year, hahahaha ;)
    Thank you for all what you did for Pokemon and for us (the readers) you really helped us a lot. And I enjoyed reading it all.
    Best of luck of luck with the rest of your life!!
    Greetings, Bauke Wijnsma

  13. Good luck Esa. Since I've known your website/blog, I haven't even had time for 6p, that's becoming more and more based on underground articles and the contribution is very heavy for brazilian TCG players as the dollars is so expensive for us.

    For the past 6 months (half of the time I've been playing the game), your blog was there for me and my good friends. I hope I achieve the, success you had achieved by growing Finland Pokémon TCG scene. I enjoy writing also, and for me it's very hard to write something consistent 'cause of the few players we have here and your website was always a very reliable source.

    Thanks for the great experience you and your writings provided me.

    Good luck on your new and necessary step.


  14. First time I've ever commented on The Deck Out. Here goes... If it wasn't for this blog I wouldn't be playing competitively, or, at all, I was on the verge of quitting the ptcg for good, but this one glimmer of hope kept me going. The deck out, I knew that somewhere out there their was someone writing a blog to help me and keep me going, this year I'm going to have a great season all in your name, thank you Esa, I thank you from the very bottom of my heart and beyond, I truly do. Goodbye.

    1. same here i wouldn't be playing if you didn't make this site good luck in the future and I hope the spark comes back

  15. Esa, you may have had your critics, but there is no denying that you did a lot for the community. Thanks for all of the hard work you provided. I wish you nothing but the best in the future.

  16. Esa,your passion for the game has been a inspiration to me and your articles have made me a better player. Good luck in all your future endeavors.

  17. Esa, I would like to thank you for what you have done for the game and for the OHKO shout-out. When I first started to become really competitive at this game, it was your blog I turned to. Your blog was the one I would constantly direct people towards when they decided to step-up their game. Honestly, I idolized you for the longest time. I think that your opinions truly redefined the metagame in certain instances. I don't think Hammertime would be nearly as popular at the 2012 US Nationals had it not been for your success with it. I honestly can't thank you enough for all you have done. You were one of the few people who made me want to start writing articles in the first place. For that, I thank you. I probably wouldn't have wanted to start learning Finnish if it weren't for you. It's a sad day when I see a player as good and as influential as you step down from the game, but I see your reasons why. I wish you the best of luck in your life from here on out, and hope that you are successful in whatever you choose to do. Good luck and goodbye!

  18. Thanks Esa for everything you did! Your articles were always very useful and, like some other people on here, this was my second most visited pokemon website xD Good Luck in all your future Endeavors and I hope that you have a great life, you deserve it considering all you've done. Btw, what will you do about the pokemon past articles? (The ones where you wrote about the past seasons.)

  19. I am glad to found your blog and read it not long ago (exactly 1 month now I've been reading your blog).. It's unfortunate but I believe you need your own break for yourself.. Thank you Esa! Thanks to you I was able to understand how the current TCG played in tournaments that I was able to play back Pokemon card games in Malaysia!

    (Former Pokemon card player back in 2000 - 2003)

  20. Esa, though we ended up with disagreements, there's no denying your impact in the community. I was reading TheDeckOut before I knew about any other TCG sites. And the same is true for many, many others. You've done more to grow the game worldwide than any individual/blog has done. It's sad to see TheDeckOut go, but I wish you the best of success in your new endeavours.

  21. I second that call to compete the 10yrs in pokemon article.

    Also, how about ptcgradio? The only podcast about the pokemon tcg and with weekly instalments nonetheless! :)

  22. Really wish you would complete 10 years of TCG :(

    This was the blog that really got me into the TCG, and I'm sorry to see it go. I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavours.

  23. I know the feeling, granted I'm from a videogame perspective, but I remember when I was younger I would stay up all night doing nothing but battling on the sims...these days, I can barely bring myself to turn the game on at all during downtime between competitions, and sims? Never got into the new ones. And of course, life always gets in the way too (though I have a niece I would love to train up in 5 years or so...).

    Best of luck to ya, I'll miss reading your blog as much as everyone else. You had some very insightful perspectives in the TCG and it will be missed.

  24. I really can't thank you enough for all the kind comments - they mean the world to mean! Thank you so much guys.

    What I was surprised was that 10-years of Pokémon articles were that interesting, since people didn't really comment on them. I thought no one would miss them, but obviously I was wrong since I have gotten even e-mails that I need to keep them going! I will finish them, but probably not on my blog but somewhere else. I will report in FB and Twitter if I ever write them to The Deck Out.

    And Mark, I didn't knew we had disagreements, haha. At least I didn't have any. And in the end, I think it was better that the fusion never took place, because I would have time to write to the new blog like only once every month with my current schedule. And I just now realized that I didn't even mention tcgwithhats in the shout-out section. Why didn't you say so?! I will add it there as it seems that you are still active.

  25. Thanks Esa! Your blog was one of the first I've read since I came back playing Pokemon TCG again this year. And your 10-yeear of Pokemon articles are really one of the most interesting things about Pokemon TCG that I have read. Hoping for the best of luck in your endeavors in life! :D

  26. Esa, your blog has been an enjoyable experience over the past year. Thank you for all ur time and hard work. I too have felt lazy with Pkmn lately and have been spending more time with Magic.
    Goodbye Esa and good luck to you. Find happiness!

  27. In response to the list of pokemon talent, people could also try PTCGradio and FutureSight (Search RattataJoey)both on youtube. I've mentioned these 2 because I personally think they've shown some real potential and could do with the promotion.

  28. God Speed Esa! I have watched my son Tyler and his blog http://pokemonbooster.blogspot.com/ grow over the years and I can tell you that he sort of looks up to players like you. Not only a player but a fellow blogger, he found many things in your articles and most of all found hope and the notion that he too could be a great writer. Thanks for all you have done for the game of Pokemon but most of all for helping create the love of writing in my son.


  29. Nooo i wouldnt be near as good if it wasnt for you!!!!!!

  30. You sir are a true legend

    1. Good luck in your life and enjoy every moment

  31. Sorry to see you go man, good luck for the future.

  32. Thanks for the MASSIVE amount of time and energy you have invested in the TCG community.
    It was great to shake your hand in B.C.!
    Keep on doing what you love... even if that doesn't include marathon sessions of Pokemon anymore;)


  33. Just wanted to say "thank-you" as I've enjoyed your blog.

  34. other than pokegym, TTC and sixprizes...they just cant measure up to you.

  35. I Cry everytime i read this...

    Goodbye esa!

  36. What about catcher changes?

  37. Your blog was amazing and a help for my brief entrance to the blackwhite txt era! Good luck!
    Darkrai <3
    - Fever

  38. Thanks Esa! Good luck with everything else in the future! The Deck Out ROCKED!

  39. This is tremendously detailed... good write up for sure. I am going to take some inspiration from you in my new blog. I would definitely appreciate you checking it out if you are looking for some more awesome pokemon related stuff: http://www.pkmncardsonline.com/blog/


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