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Jason
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"Ness"
2006 World
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Ness's Nest
with Jason Klaczynski
Winning Prerelease Strategies
December 6, 2006

      I'm sure a lot of you have probably been to a prerelease before.  While winning the tournament usually requires being lucky enough to pull evolutions and good trainers out of your packs, there are some strategies that can help you win games in prereleases.  Here are some of the most important ones:

1) Play enough energy.
Most people don't realize how much energy you have to play in limited.  Because you have such little draw, one HALF of your deck is a good general rule to go by.  So play twenty energy, and then perhaps if you did pull a draw supporter, you could cut an energy.  If you pulled two draw cards, you could go down to 18.  I know people who have played dozens of limited tournaments, and still play 14 or 15 energy.  If you don't play at least 18 in your 40 card deck, you're going to run into problems.

2) Retreat often.
In limited, very few cards are able to take advantage of a damaged basic on the bench.  Since you are each trying to get four prizes, you can often prevent a loss simply by retreating damaged Pokemon.  While there are times to sacrifice Pokemon, if you have another Pokemon powered up, and think you have enough to maintain an attacking Pokemon throughout the rest of the game, consider retreating.  When the game is down to 1 prize each at the end, you'll know that retreat saved you.

3) Be aware of dark/metal energy costs.
Some cards may look good in modified, but if there attacks require dark or metal energy, they better have another amazing attack, or you need to leave it out of your deck.  Don't get tricked into playing a card that requires a dark energy to attack simply because you have one d Rainbow energy in your deck.

4) Play any draw cards you get.
Cards that are weak in modified, like Island Hermit, are amazingly huge in limited.  You can literally NEVER have too many draw supporters in your deck in limited.  Play every single draw supporter & trainer you get.

5) Stay at two or three types.
Don't just add every evolution you pull if it means you're going to be playing 5 different types in your deck.  While you can always play different types of Pokemon that require only colorless energy to attack, if you add too many different types you won't have the right energy when you need it.  Instead, focus on two or three types, and play the most energy of what you think you'll need the most.

While prereleases are fun to acquire new cards at, the tournaments themselves tend to be luck-based.  However, if you follow this advice, and have some luck, you'll have a good chance of doing well.

-Jason Klaczynski (
ness@pojo.com)


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